WHAT: The cost of fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be at least $160 billion and could rise to as much as $1 trillion. The mortgage companies have already drawn $145 billion from an unlimited government credit line, becoming the biggest bailout in U.S. history.
WHO PAYS: Now 80 percent-owned by U.S. taxpayers, Fannie and Freddie guarantee 53 percent of the nation’s $10.7 trillion in residential mortgages. Millions of bad loans from the housing bubble remain on their books and delinquencies keep rising.
HOW COME: Last year, Fannie and Freddie bought or guaranteed three-quarters of all U.S. home loans. The record-breaking bailout is supposed to ensure that homebuyers can get loans while the private housing-finance industry is moribund.