Mortgage agencies could threaten US sovereign rating

Exposure to government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could threaten the US government's triple-A credit rating, Standard & Poor's has warned.

These mortgage agencies are technically not part of the government: they are publicly listed companies with no explicit government guarantee, overseen by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. But as the subprime crisis has worsened, the GSEs have been used to take up the slack in mortgage origination, and are widely

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