The Federal National Mortgage Association – FNMA, or Fannie Mae – reported a $5 billion profit in the fourth quarter Friday and a $5.5 billion dividend to be paid in March to the U.S. Treasury. The announcement came the day after the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. – FMCC, or Freddie Mac – reported a $4.8 billion fourth quarter profit and a $4.5 billion dividend. The improvement in the fortunes of the companies, under government conservatorship since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, indicate the strong housing market is allowing the government to use Fannie and Freddie profits to fund other government programs.
The earnings reports by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the first in the Trump administration. Newly confirmed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has advocated an overhaul of the companies. Their strong positions suggest they could soon be returned to shareholder control, Bloomberg News said Friday.