WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday it will give Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as much support as they need to remain solvent.
The Christmas Eve announcement was made as the two mortgage giants revealed that 12 top executives will receive $42 million in compensation this year, The Washington Post reported. The chief executive officers will get $6 million each.
The Treasury's move means Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can get federal assistance exceeding the current $400 billion cap. They have already received $111 billion.
It also means they may remain federal agencies in practice for the next three years.
Officials said the announcement "should leave no uncertainty about the Treasury's commitment to support these firms as they continue to play a vital role in the housing market during this current crisis." They said it did not necessarily mean they will actually receive more than $400 billion.
The government took over the companies in September 2008 as the mortgage crisis was peaking. The administration of President George W. Bush promised up to $200 billion in assistance, which his successor, President Barack Obama, doubled.