Special Report

14 Businesses Run by the US Government

Source: Alex Wong / Hulton Archive via Getty Images

11. Federal Financing Bank
> Year founded: 1973
> Industry: Finance

The Federal Financing Bank, of FFB, was created by congress in 1973 with the purpose of making it easier and cheaper for federal borrowing and federally-assisted borrowing while minimizing disruption to private financial markets and institutions.

As of the end of fiscal 2020, the FFB’s loan portfolio totalled $81.8 billion. New lending commitments in the past year include $6 billion to the Rural Utilities Service, $258 million to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and $421 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Revenue from interest payments alone totalled $2.3 billion in fiscal 2020.

Source: Courtesy of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) via Facebook

12. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
> Year founded: 1974
> Industry: Insurance

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation was established through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The PBGC functions to protect worker pensions. Before its existence, workers had no recourse for receiving benefits if their former employer went out of business.

There are about 900,000 retired Americans who now receive their pension benefits through the PBGC, and about 37 million working Americans are protected by the company. The company’s operations are financed largely through employer-paid insurance premiums and investment income, and it receives no taxpayer support.

Source: Courtesy of Presidio of San Francisco via Facebook

13. Presidio Trust of San Francisco
> Year founded: 1996
> Industry: Conservation and hospitality

The San Francisco Presidio is located in the northernmost section of the city where the Golden Gate Bridge extends out from. Once the northernmost Spanish fort in the New World, it became a U.S. Army post in the mid-19th century and later a historic landmark. The Presidio was included as a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972, and in 1996, the U.S. Congress created the Presidio Trust to preserve the cultural, scenic, and recreational value of the Presidio and the surrounding 700 plus buildings. The trust manages 1,191 acres of the area in tandem with the National Park Service, which manages 300 acres.

The Presidio Trust generates revenue through leasing area homes and offices as well as hotels and a golf course and does not rely on taxpayer funds. The area is home to some 3,000 residents and 200 organizations and draws in an estimated 10 million visitors annually.

Source: statephotos / Flickr

14. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
> Year founded: 2018
> Industry: International investment

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, or DFC, was established through the BUILD Act that was signed into law on Oct. 5, 2018, by President Donald Trump. DFC is a consolidation of the now dissolved government corporation, OPIC, and the Development Credit Authority. Working with private lenders, the DFC funds critical development projects around the world in a range of sectors, including energy, health care, infrastructure, and technology. The DFC is distinct from U.S. foreign aid and makes investments designed to generate returns for U.S. taxpayers.

So far in 2021, DFC has committed over $1.75 billion to countries in Africa, and over $100 million to countries in both Asia and Latin America.