Fannie to Post: We're Not a Candy Company

Is that a chocolate-covered cherry or a mortgage-backed security?

Last week the Washington Post ran a short item on the screening of Steven Spielberg's movie "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West" at the Kennedy Center for 275 inner-city kids. "The children at the premiere were guests of the Fannie May candy company," the paper reported.

Actually, the Federal National Mortgage Association paid for the party. A Fannie Mae official called the Post, which ran a correction Nov. 19.

"With it being the local paper, we though it would be a good idea to point out that we're a major national corporation located in their area," said Fannie Mae spokesman David Jeffers.

$480 Billion in Assets

Major is an understatement. Fannie Mae the mortgage company owns or insures $480 billion in assets. The Chicago-based chocolate company Fannie May doesn't compare.

A spokeswoman for the privately held confectioner would not reveal its size but allowed that in relation to its near namesake, "we're a blink of your eye."

Despite its size and role in housing, Fannie Mae is not a household name.

"We're better understood and better known than we were 10 years ago," he said. "We still have a long way to go, obviously."

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