Free Markets, Free People
S & P downgrades Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
Following the downgrading of the US sovereign debt, S&P has also downgraded the credit ratings of the two quasi-government agencies, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, to the same level as the US (AA+). The reason given by S&P:
The downgrades of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reflect their direct reliance on the U.S. government. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed into conservatorship in September 2008 and their ability to fund operations relies heavily on the U.S. government. In addition to the implicit support we factor into our ratings, the U.S. Treasury has demonstrated explicit support by providing these entities with capital quarterly, as necessary.
The projected cost to bailout Fannie and Freddie through 2020 is estimated to be between $373 billion and $376 billion. The agencies which Barney Frank assured us were in fine financial shape are, in fact, giant money pits. They are indeed reliant upon the US government for their subsidy as is obvious by the future funding that’s being planned for them. It is believed that approximately $291 billion dollars was necessary in 2009 to prop up the two agencies.
Of course it is possible that the administration will try to attack this finding by S&P as well. However, the reality is the agency’s downgrade has indeed had an effect, no matter how hard the administration and various Democrats attempt to attack the messenger. Everyone has known at some point it wasn’t a matter of “if” the US debt would be downgraded, but “when”. And all the grousing and griping we’ve seen the last few days, all the attempts at blame-shifting and attack politics don’t change that simple bit of reality. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s downgrade simply puts a cherry on the downgrade sundae.