Freddie Mac has been operating in the shadow of its larger rival, Fannie Mae, in recent months. For better or worse, Fannie Mae has gotten most of the headlines as assorted political battles waxed and waned.

Perhaps the low profile preferred by Leland Brendsel, chairman, is healthy for Freddie Mac, formally the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., because it has been steadily improving its earnings and winning praise from securities analysts.

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