NEW YORK Nov 4 Costs to "resolve" U.S.
mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and
capitalize a new entity to replace their roles in supporting
the nation's housing market, could reach $685 billion, credit
rating company Standard & Poor's said on Thursday.
Under current conditions, it is unlikely that the housing
and mortgage markets can operate normally without substantial
government involvement, S&P analysts said in a report.
The debate on mortgage finance reform is expected to take
center stage early next year as the Obama administration is set
to outline remedies for the two companies, whose losses on loan
they guaranteed have cost taxpayers some $148 billion.
U.S. Treasury support for the companies could reach a total
of $280 billion, S&P said, before Congress decides how to
overhaul the mortgage finance system.
(Reporting by Al Yoon; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)