When I originally wrote this column for Financial Partner magazine, 2008 financial results were not yet available for the three housing GSEs. Fannie and Freddie have since reported their 2008 results; the Federal Home Loan Banks still have not.
Fannie Mae's assets increased in 2008 to $912 billion. Fannie reported a loss of $59 billion in 2008 and negative equity (!) of $15 billion.
Freddie Mac's assets increased in 2008 to $882 billion. Freddie reported a loss of $50 billion in 2008 and negative equity of $31 billion.
In contrast, the Farm Credit System's assets increased in 2008 to $214 billion. The FCS reported 2008 income of $2.9 billion and positive equity of $27 billion (12.7% of assets).
As a point of reference, General Motors reported a 2008 loss of $31 billion and negative equity of $86 billion.