By Peter Schroeder - 03/19/12 01:34 PM EDT
The Treasury Department has sold off all the mortgage-backed securities it bought during the financial crisis, reaping a profit along the way.
The government made $25 billion from roughly $225 billion of debt backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The securities were purchased in the midst of the financial crisis, as the government tried to keep credit flowing in the housing market.
Now, with markets surging and the financial crisis in the rearview mirror — and with the presidential campaign rapidly approaching — the government is backing away from its outsized presence in the markets.
The Treasury announced plans to gradually wind down its housing holdings in March 2011.
The move marks the latest in a series of steps by the government to exit its crisis-driven investments. In July, the Treasury announced it was no longer invested in Chrysler, ending with a roughly $1.3 billion loss.
However, the government has fared better with investments in the banking sector. The Treasury announced roughly one year ago that it had officially turned a profit on that portion of the bailout, and ultimately estimates it will turn a $20 billion profit on the $245 billion that was pumped into banks.