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The U.S. Congress does not get much done these days. But gridlock is working just fine for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They delivered $12.1-billion (U.S.) in profits last quarter. By the terms of Treasury’s $190-billion bailout of the mortgage securitisers, that money (and all of the pair’s future profits) is owed to Uncle Sam. And there is more to come for taxpayers if the housing revival continues and lawmakers’ dysfunction keeps Fannie and Freddie in their current form.

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