The bailouts just never seem to stop.
Freddie Mac said Wednesday it will ask the government for nearly $31 billion in additional aid after posting a gargantuan loss of more than $50 billion last year as the U.S. housing market worsened.
The mortgage finance company posted a loss of $23.9 billion, or $7.37 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008. That compares with a loss of $2.5 billion, or $3.97 a share, in the year-ago period.
The recent loss was driven by $13.2 billion in hedged trades, $7.2 billion in credit losses from the declining housing market conditions and $7.5 billion in writedowns of the value of its mortgage-backed securities. The company also took a charge of $8.3 billion for now-worthless tax credits.
"We absorbed heavy financial losses last year," said Chief Executive David Moffett, who is stepping down this week after six months on the job. "But we also provided vital liquidity to the strapped housing market."
When does too big to fail become too big to rescue?