What is 'Freddie Mac - Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp - FHLMC'

Freddie Mac (FHLMC) is a stockholder-owned, government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) chartered by Congress in 1970 to keep money flowing to mortgage lenders in support of homeownership and rental housing for middle income Americans. The FHLMC purchases, guarantees and securitizes mortgages to form mortgage-backed securities. The mortgage-backed securities that it issues tend to be very liquid and carry a credit rating close to that of U.S. Treasuries.

Also known as "Freddie Mac."

BREAKING DOWN 'Freddie Mac - Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp - FHLMC'

Freddie Mac has come under criticism because its ties to the U.S. government allows it to borrow money at interest rates lower than those available to other financial institutions. With this funding advantage, it issues large amounts of debt (known in the market place as agency debt or agencies), and in turn purchases and holds a huge portfolio of mortgages known as its retained portfolio. Many people believe that the size of the retained portfolio poses a great deal of systematic risk to the entire U.S.

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