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James B. Lockhart III, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, is stepping down, saying he wants to spend more time with his family. Lockhart was in charge of the agency, which now controls both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and its predecessor for the past three years, and has been criticized for allowing the two companies to engage in risky subprime lending.
He's also the one who helped orchestrate their takeover by the government and fought former executives in court to deny them so-called "golden parachute." Lockhart was a Bush appointee who grew up with the former president. In a speech last week, he hinted that it's unlikely that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will ever pay back the $85 billion in assistance the government gave them, and that it's likely they'll need to draw on more government financing soon.