Freddie cuts net yearly loss to $21.6B

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After losing a staggering $50.1 billion in 2008, government-sponsored mortgage giant Freddie Mac managed to cut its net losses to $21.6 billion in 2009, the company announced yesterday. Fourth-quarter losses totaled $6.5 billion, down from $5.3 billion for the third quarter of 2009. Freddie Mac did not seek additional funding from the Treasury Department during the fourth quarter, at the end of which it had a positive net worth of $4.4 billion, and improvement over the $30.6 billion net worth deficit it had as of Dec. 31, 2008. Still, warned Freddie Mac CEO Charles Haldeman, “the housing recovery remains fragile, with significant downside risk posed by high unemployment and a potential large wave of foreclosures.” While the company did not need to seek additional cash infusions from the Treasury Department in the fourth quarter, the Obama administration said it would cover unlimited losses for both Freddie Mac and its larger counterpart, Fannie Mae, over the next three years. TRD