The running debate over the privileged status of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae took a new turn last week when Rep. James A. Leach, who heads the House Banking Committee, roundly attacked Freddie because of its purchase last week of $125 million in Phillip Morris bonds.

Freddie had sold $125 million of its own bonds of the same maturity earlier in the week. The rate on the Freddie Mac bonds was 6.99%, reflecting its near-agency status in the credit markets. The Phillip Morris bonds yield 7.68%.

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