A government sponsored enterprise (GSE) chartered by Congress in 1938 to improve the availability and cost of funds for housing. Like Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae buys mortgages in the secondary mortgage market, pools them, and sells mortgage-backed securities to investors. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also own large portfolios of their own of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. Initially chartered as a federal agency, Fannie Mae was re-chartered in 1968 as a private company with shareholders. In September 2008, facing insolvency, it was taken over by the federal government and placed into conservatorship. The original legal name for Fannie Mae was Federal National Mortgage Association.