The Congress has established a number of government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—privately owned financial institutions that are federally chartered to fulfill a public mission of facilitating the flow of funds to housing and other sectors of the economy. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the two largest GSEs, backing or holding about half of the $11 trillion of outstanding residential mortgage debt; those institutions have been under federal conservatorship since September 2008. The other GSEs are the Federal Home Loan Bank System, the Farm Credit System, and Farmer Mac. CBO analyzes the effects of the GSEs on the federal budget and on the sectors they are chartered to support.
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