Fannie Mae is the common name (as a spoken version of the acronym) for the Federal National Mortgage Association. It is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress in 1968 as a government sponsored enterprise (GSE), but founded in 1938 during the Great Depression. Its purpose is to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets by buying and securitizing mortgages. 
Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were seized by the U.S. government on Sept. 7, 2008, after the mortgage meltdown and resulting financial crisis had resulted in their portfolios holding trillions of dollars of toxic assets, and policymakers decided they needed restructuring. 
The government seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together back roughly half of all outstanding U.S. mortgages, in September 2008 as losses from failing home loans threatened the agencies' solvency. Fannie Mae has borrowed more than $116 billion from the government and paid almost $20 billion in the form of dividends.
Fannie Mae in February of 2012 said it would request $4.6 billion more in government aid after posting a $2.41 billion fourth-quarter loss.
- ↑ About Fannie Mae. Fannie Mae.
- ↑ S&P Cuts U.S. Government Entities. WSJ.com.
- ↑ The Age of Dominance Reaches Its End for GSEs. American Banker.
- ↑ Fannie, Freddie to delist from NYSE. CNN Money.
- ↑ Fannie Mae seeks $4.6 billion in aid after Q4 loss. Reuters.
- ↑ Fannie Mae to Seek $4.6 Billion More in Aid. WSJ.com.