(US News) -- With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both reporting record profits for 2012, taxpayers might be wondering if there's any reward for bailing out the agencies blamed for the housing bust – that is, besides saving the global financial system from imminent ruin.
According to Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos, the government-sponsored enterprises aren't the only ones that will be rolling in the dough. In his first TV interview since the company reported a more than $17 billion profit for 2012, Mayopoulos told Bloomberg TV that U.S. taxpayers could actually see a net gain from the $116 billion they've shoveled into the beleaguered mortgage giant.
"Given the strength of our future profitability, [it is] possible that we will be able to pay dividends that would be equal to or greater than the amount of money that we've received from the Treasury Department," Mayopoulos said.
Since 2008, Fannie Mae has paid back almost $36 billion of the $116 billion in bailout funds it received. But projections included in the President's budget released this week suggest that total dividends paid to the Treasury by Fannie Mae over the next 10 years could ultimately exceed the total bailout sum by a whopping $51 billion, meaning taxpayers and the federal government could actually make money off of the much-maligned bailout of the mortgage financier.
By contrast, last year's budget projected Fannie and Freddie would result in net losses of about $28 billion for the government through 2022.
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