Fannie Taps Lifeline

Remember back in September, when the Treasury Department set up a $200 billion emergency fund for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Well, Freddie’s already scooped up $13.8 billion of that money and said Jan. 23 it will need $35 billion more. But Fannie had been holding off—until now. The country’s largest source of home-loan money said late Monday it needed between $11 billion and $16 billion to stay afloat in a deteriorating housing market. The request was “much worse” than expected, a fixed-income strategist tells Bloomberg, adding that one or both of the government-sponsored enterprises “may exceed the Treasury’s backstop this year.”