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Timeline: Fannie Mae

July 30: Fannie Mae chief Franklin D. Raines says an accounting scandal at rival Freddie Mac has unfairly tarred his company and contributed to higher interest rates for consumers.

July 4: Federal regulators already investigating accounting errors at mortgage lending giant Freddie Mac tell Congress that they plan to conduct a special accounting review of its twin, Fannie Mae.

June 12: Treasury Secretary John W. Snow calls for closer scrutiny of and better disclosure from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, just days after Freddie Mac ousted its three top executives in the midst of an accounting probe.

June 9: Freddie Mac yesterday fires its president, alleging that he altered and ripped out pages of his notebooks before handing them over to investigators probing the company's accounting. The company also pushes out its chief executive and chief financial officer.

March 10: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose "a fundamental risk to the continuing stability of our financial system" because they do not have nearly enough capital to survive a major financial shock, says William Poole, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. Fannie Mae says it has ample capital and liquidity to withstand unexpected market developments.

Jan. 15: Earnings at Fannie Mae, battered by accounting losses on derivative securities purchased to hedge interest rate risk, plunged more than 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2002 and more than 20 percent for the year, the company says.

Before 2003

July 12, 2002: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bowing to growing pressure to disclose more information to investors, announce they will begin filing financial statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission just as all other publicly traded companies do.

Feb. 5, 2002: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac face higher risks as their growth outpaces the market and they fund that growth with debt, the Bush administration warns in its 2003 budget.

Dec. 12, 2001: FM Watch -- an organization whose executive committee includes J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., GE Capital, Wells Fargo & Co. and mortgage insurers -- says Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lag behind the financial industry in providing money for mortgages to black, Hispanic and low-income borrowers.

July 25, 2000: Congress should examine whether the special benefits it has provided to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other government-sponsored enterprises are necessary, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan says.

March 15, 2000: Fannie Mae, the nation's largest provider of mortgage funding for U.S. home buyers, said yesterday that it will earmark $2 trillion over the next decade for loans to minorities, families headed by women, new immigrants and other underserved consumers.

Jan. 15, 1999: In a move designed to help home buyers with good credit but small savings, Fannie Mae says it will reduce the amount of mortgage insurance required for borrowers who make down payments of less than 20 percent of a home's purchase price.

April 15, 1998: Franklin D. Raines, whose low-key pragmatism helped President Clinton bridge partisan differences to close the 1997 balanced-budget deal with congressional Republicans, announces he will step down after less than two years as White House budget director to become chairman and chief executive of Fannie Mae.

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