"A pair of elephants waits just outside the courtroom. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have swallowed $141 billion from the Treasury since they were nationalized. They've lost $250 billion since 2007. And they were huge buyers of Wall Street's mortgage-backed securities - bonds backed by subprime loans that didn't meet the two companies' own loan standards. Fannie and Freddie gorged on $690 billion worth of toxic securities during the housing boom, and have lost $50 billion on those securities so far. Fannie and Freddie's federal regulator has already sued UBS for $4.5 billion in bad mortgage securities, and has the rest of Wall Street in its sights."

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