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US gov't sells $225B in mortgage-backed securities

Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Treasury Department says it has sold off the final portion of $225 billion in mortgage-backed securities it purchased during the height of the financial crisis.

Treasury says the sales of securities issued primarily issued by troubled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have netted the government $25 billion in interest. However, that still leaves the government with heavy losses from the rescue of the two mortgage giants in September 2008.

Taxpayers have spent roughly $170 billion to rescue Fannie and Freddie, the most expensive bailout of the 2008 financial crisis. The government estimates it could cost up to $259 billion more to support the companies through 2014 after subtracting dividend payments.