Freddie Mac's August monthly volume summary illustrates the escalation of the financial crisis this summer and its need to preserve capital. 

The retained portfolio dropped $37.4 billion to $760.9 billion from $798.2 billion in the previous month. This translates into an annualized growth rate of negative 56.2%. Net retained commitments declined $15.4 billion from July' decline of $0.3 billion. 

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