Fannie Mae CEO steps down

Michael Williams, chief executive of US government-backed mortgage lender Fannie Mae, has announced he will step down from the role once a replacement has been chosen.

Williams became CEO in 2009, seven months after the agency – and its fellow government-backed lender Freddie Mac – were nationalised after accumulating $1.6 trillion of debt over a 12-month period. Fannie Mae's total losses from 2008 to the end of the third quarter of 2011 now stand at $137 billion.

Williams joined Fannie Mae in 1991, first leading the electronic commerce and e-business division, and then accounting and control reforms. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2005.

Charles Haldeman, chief executive of Freddie Mac, said three months ago that he too would resign from his post when a suitable candidate was found.

Two other former chief executives of the agencies are among six top-level executives charged with securities fraud by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in December.

Fannie Mae's Daniel Mudd and Freddie Mac's Richard Syron are accused of having knowledge of, and approving misleading statements relating to, the agencies' holdings of higher-risk mortgage loans during the financial crisis.

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