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More Accounting Woes For Fannie Mae

Embattled mortgage giant Fannie Mae announced yesterday that its continuing accounting problems won’t allow it to release fourth quarter 2004 results. As a result, Fannie’s regulator — the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) — will not be able to assess the firm’s capital adequacy.

Moody’s lowered Fannie Mae’s bank-financial-strength rating to B+ with a stable outlook from A- while affirming Fannie Mae’s triple-A senior unsecured debt ratings with a stable outlook.

Earlier this year, Fannie Mae disclosed that accounting errors in its derivatives business would cut into earnings and capital reserves by approximately $9 billion. OFHEO, in turn, lowered Fannie Mae’s capital classification.

The news hasn’t improved since then. Fannie Mae last month announced it’s likely that more errors could drop their 2004 earnings by an added $2.4 billion.

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