SEPT. 6, 2008 The Bush administration on this day took over troubled housing financing companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in order to help shore up the U.S. economy during some of the darkest days of the Great Recession. The collapse of the housing market had left the two firms, which at the time financed more than half of all home loans in the United States, in a precarious state. As part of the takeover, Fannie and Freddie received approximately $188 billion in bailout funds. The Post’s Zachary A. Goldfarb, David Cho and Binyamin Appelbaum called it “one of the most sweeping government interventions in private financial markets in decades.” By year’s end, the federal government would also bail out insurance giant American International Group and the auto industry. Fannie and Freddie remain in government conservatorship today, even though the housing market has recovered and the firms are once again profitable.