Wait: It gets worse
Freddie's loss was larger than the $1.4 billion quarterly deficit of Fannie Mae, its bigger government-sponsored competitor. Shares of the nation's largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial Corp., dropped on worries that one of its main sources of sales could dry up.
"It's as bad as it possibly could be," said Howard Shapiro, an analyst at Fox-Pitt Kelton in New York.
The reason he says that -- though it does seem like daring the universe to make it worse, doesn't it -- is because the changes "Freddie Mac is contemplating could add to the strain on the slumping housing market," the story notes.
Oh, and bear with me today, folks. I'm sick and working at quarter-speed.