People familiar with the dispute offered different views about why the regulator sought to prevent the disclosures. One source said the regulatory officials didn’t want to make it seem like government actions were causing big losses at the company and would require more taxpayer dollars. Another person said the officials thought that accounting rules would soon change, making the disclosure unnecessary.

Either way, that’s, well, corrupt.

The Obama plan will require Freddie Mac to modify mortgages, which entails reassessing the value of loans and marking them down to current market price. The company must then record a charge to reflect these decreased values. Based on Dec. 31 figures, Freddie Mac said it would incur “an initial pre-tax charge” of $30 billion. That number could grow as the economy declines and would have to be offset by infusions of government capital.

I’d like to see follow-up on this to name the regulators were responsible for this. Following that trail might lead straight back to the Obama White House.

Great work by the Post.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.