Mark Gongloff, Huffington Post

Libor manipulation cost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more than $3 billion, according to an estimate by a government watchdog, who recommends the government-owned mortgage giants sue the big banks.

That estimate and legal advice were made in a private report by Steve Linick, the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie and Freddie, which were taken over by the U.S. government during the financial crisis. The Wall Street Journal first reported the watchdog’s analysis on Wednesday.

The report, a copy of which was obtained by the Huffington Post, was in a memorandum prepared by the FHFA watchdog’s staff and delivered to FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco on Nov. 2. The FHFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to the WSJ, the FHFA has told Linick in a recent letter that it was “exploring potential legal options.”

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