Federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
The federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refers to the placing into conservatorship of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the U.S. Treasury in September 2008. It was one of the financial events among many in the ongoing subprime mortgage crisis.On September 6, 2008, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), James B. Lockhart III, announced his decision to place two Government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation), into conservatorship run by the FHFA.At the same press conference, United States Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, stated that placing the two GSEs into conservatorship was a decision he fully supported, and that he advised ""that conservatorship was the only form in which I would commit taxpayer money to the GSEs."" He further said that ""I attribute the need for today's action primarily to the inherent conflict and flawed business model embedded in the GSE structure, and to the ongoing housing correction.""The same day, the Federal Reserve Bank chairman Ben Bernanke stated in support: ""I strongly endorse both the decision by FHFA Director Lockhart to place Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship and the actions taken by Treasury Secretary Paulson to ensure the financial soundness of those two companies.""The following day, Herbert M. Allison was appointed chief executive of Fannie Mae. He came from TIAA-CREF.