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Freddie Mac posts $1.7B loss for Q4

WASHINGTON — Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac has posted a loss of $1.7 billion for the October-December quarter of last year, and a $19.8 billion loss for all of 2010.

The government-controlled mortgage buyer is also asking for an additional $500 million in federal aid. That’s up from the $100 million that Freddie Mac sought in the July-September quarter.

The government rescued Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae in September 2008 to cover their losses on soured mortgage loans. It estimates the bailouts will cost taxpayers as much as $259 billion.

Freddie Mac’s October-December loss attributable to common stockholders works out to 53 cents a share. It takes into account $1.6 billion in dividend payments to the government. It compares with a loss of $7.8 billion, or $2.39 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2009.