An accounting restatement at Freddie Mac ( FRE) reportedly could run to $3 billion, boosting earnings already on the books and lowering them in years to come, although the reductions could be offset if the housing market continues to boom.

People familiar with the company's accounting say the restatement could be anywhere from $1 billion to $3 billion, presumably to change the treatment of derivatives it uses to hedge its massive portfolio of mortgages and mortgage bonds, The Wall Street Journal reported.

A company spokesman declined to comment on the story and repeated that Freddie Mac expects any restatement to be materially positive for the company's bottom line.

Freddie, set up by the government to make a secondary market in residential mortgages, fired its president and accepted the resignation of its two other top executives two weeks ago amid questions about its previously disclosed intentions to restate three years of earnings. The company earned $5.76 billion in 2002 and $4.15 billion in 2001.

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