Mission critical

Few are the lucky ones in the current market turmoil. But good fortune and good foresight mean Freddie Mac is less vulnerable than private-label peers. The subprime mess might even present a valuable opportunity for the US mortgage agency. By Rob Mannix

Winners in the subprime mess are hard to find, and Freddie Mac seems perhaps the least likely of all. As one of two main government-sponsored entities (GSEs) standing behind the US mortgage market, Freddie has substantial exposure to the sector.

Yet, when chief business officer Patricia Cook addressed delegates at Lehman Brothers' financial services conference in New York last month she told them: "Despite the recent market turbulence, today's trends benefit Freddie Mac in the long run ... At a

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