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Timeline: Fannie Mae

April 2: The Bush administration says it opposes a Senate bill to create a new regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, signaling that the legislation is all but dead. March 30: Fannie Mae might have to correct published financial statements as a result of an ongoing government review of its accounting, the company's regulator says.

Feb. 24: Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan warns Congress that the rapid growth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac threatens the stability of U.S. financial markets and urges lawmakers to address the issue while the companies are healthy, rather than wait for a crisis.

2003

Dec. 28: Fannie Mae establishes a political action committee two days after the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a ban on the "soft-money" political contributions of which it is a major donor.

Dec. 22: A new study by a Federal Reserve Board economist argues that the government's sponsorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is worth a lot to the giant mortgage companies, but not much to home buyers.

Nov. 16: Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) says efforts to change how the government regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not result in legislation this year.

Nov. 5: N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, calls for stronger regulation of government-sponsored housing financiers, saying that "even a small mistake" in managing their risks "could have ripple effects throughout the financial system."

Oct. 30: The day after announcing its last quarterly earnings release contained errors totaling more than $1 billion, Fannie Mae says it remains "proud of our accounting processes and controls."

Oct. 29: Fannie Mae reports it made an error of more than $1 billion in its last quarterly earnings release. Though the miscue doesn't affect the company's bottom line, word of an impending correction hits the market before Fannie's explanation and sends the company's stock price plunging by almost 6 percent in 20 minutes before it rebounds.

Oct. 16: Fannie Mae reports that it earned $2.7 billion during the third quarter ($2.69 per share), up 168.2 percent from the same period in 2002.

Oct. 9: The government agency that oversees Fannie Mae asks private accounting firms to compete for the job of helping it examine the firm's accounting, reflecting its own limitations as regulator.


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