Fannie Mae reported huge fourth-quarter losses today, painting an ugly picture both of the economy and the mortgage giant's own future. The company lost $3.56 billion—triple what analysts expected, Bloomberg reports. Derivatives were the big culprit, accounting for $3.33 billion in losses, but the company also reported spikes in late payments and delinquencies.
However, the ability of Fannie Mae and fellow mortgage-financier Freddie Mac to file 2007 statements on time allowed a federal agency to relax a cap on their investment portfolios instituted in the wake of accounting troubles. Fannie Mae remains down on the immediate future, though: "We expect the housing market to continue to deteriorate and home prices to continue to decline," a statement said. (Read more Fannie Mae stories.)