Oct. 17, 2014, 12:20 PM
- One of the key issues serving as a road block to mortgage lending is banker fear over having any loans put back to them by the GSEs at any time - even years down the road - for any number of reasons.
- This concern was voiced most pointedly in the late summer by Wells Fargo (WFC +1.2%) CEO John Stumpf in the kind of call-out of regulators you don't often hear from corporate leaders.
- The WSJ is now reporting that Fannie (OTCQB:FNMA +5.9%), Freddie (OTCQB:FMCC +7.3%), their regulators, and banks are near a deal in which the lenders could feel protected enough to begin granting mortgages to those without perfect credit and employment histories.
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, RWW, RYF, FINZ
Oct. 13, 2014, 8:58 AM
- "The cash that we've raised we intend to use for a new commitment," says Bill Ackman tells Bloomberg following the European IPO of Pershing Square Holdings. "We have a new investment we're going to announce probably in the next 45-60 days."
- "We bought a lot more Fannie (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie (OTCQB:FMCC) stock in the week or so since the adverse court decision ... I think we increased our position by about 20%." Ackman finds it interesting Judge Lamberth weighed in on the taking plan even though it's out of his court's jurisdiction.
- "I think a new board will likely be installed at that date," says Ackman of Allergan (NYSE:AGN) and the December 18 shareholder meeting. He thinks it highly remote that he won't be able to vote his 9.7% stake in the company.
Oct. 10, 2014, 8:21 AM
- "Fairholme believes strongly that the Net Worth Sweep imposed four years after the financial crisis was not authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and must be unwound," says the fund company, announcing the filing of an appeal of Judge Royce Lamberth's dismissal of lawsuits against the government over the GSEs.
- "Fairholme also believes strongly that the FHFA has contractual and fiduciary duties to the preferred shareholders of Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC), and that these duties can and will be enforced."
- Press release
- Previously: Ackman adds to Fannie/Freddie bets
Oct. 10, 2014, 8:04 AM
- Bill Ackman has added to his 10% stake in Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) since the stocks got clobbered by a federal court ruling last week.
- The stocks have trimmed losses after dropping almost 50% when Judge Royce Lamberth threw out lawsuits by Fairholme Capital and Perry Capital, who claimed Washington improperly seized their property by changing the terms of its agreement with them.
Oct. 3, 2014, 1:09 PM
- "The district court's decision overlooks important points of law and improperly resolved key questions of fact based on the government's cherry-picked record," says Perry Capital attorney Ted Olson. "The merits of this case deserve to be heard in court."
- Previously: Carney: Don't buy the dip in Frannie
- Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA +20.2%), Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC +20.3%)
Oct. 2, 2014, 9:59 AM
- The 52-page ruling from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth "meticulously demolishes" every argument made by investors claiming Treasury and the FHFA acted illegally when altering Fannie Mae's (OTCQB:FNMA -10%) and Freddie Mac's (OTCQB:FMCC -7.3%) bailout agreement in 2012.
- The new agreement, says Lamberth, is clearly within the bounds of authority Congress granted in 2008 when passing a law overhauling oversight of the GSEs.
- Yes, Lamberth's ruling doesn't directly affect the dozens of other pending lawsuits, but now plaintiff's attorneys will have to start out explaining how Lamberth got things wrong.
- Previously: Fannie and Freddie plunge after investor lawsuit dismissed
Oct. 1, 2014, 9:46 AM| 15 Comments
Oct. 1, 2014, 4:41 AM
- A group of Wall Street investors lost their legal challenges yesterday over the treatment of Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) shareholders after their bailout in 2008.
- The investors sued for breach of contract over allegedly promised dividends and liquidation preferences, and what they called an illegal “taking” of their profits by the U.S. Treasury.
- The lawsuits are among the first of almost 20 related cases to be decided.
Sep. 24, 2014, 3:03 PM| 1 Comment
Aug. 29, 2014, 2:01 AM
- Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) has asked Judge Jed Rakoff to dismiss the jury verdict which found its Countrywide unit guilty of past mortgage fraud that resulted in a $1.3B penalty.
- Known as the "hustle" case, the lawsuit accuses BofA of selling toxic mortgages to Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC), although the bank argues that the evidence at the trial does not support the claims.
- The motion comes just one week after BofA agreed to a record $16.7B settlement with the U.S. government to settle charges over its role in mortgages leading up to the financial crisis.
Aug. 28, 2014, 10:55 AM
- “We are focused on making responsible real estate decisions to ensure the wise use of resources," says a Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA -0.3%) spokesperson of the company's plans to sell it's sprawling headquarters as part of a consolidation of its 5 D.C. offices into a single leased office building.
- Previously: Fannie Mae eyeing return to the Big Board?
Aug. 27, 2014, 10:27 AM| 10 Comments
Aug. 18, 2014, 1:23 PM
- Assume, says John Carney, Bill Ackman and other investment managers win their legal battle against the government over Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA -1%) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC -0.8%). At that point, we go back to the bailout agreements under which both would still be obligated to pay a 10% dividend. Also, both would need to pay a commitment fee of, say, one-half to one percent, an amount they would struggle to be able to afford.
- The result is the two would have an even tougher time building a capital buffer, meaning a time frame of years before their earnings power could accrue to holders of either the preferred or common stock.
- Previously: Carney: Fannie and Freddie investors should surrender
Aug. 15, 2014, 3:58 AM
- Bill Ackman's Pershing Square has sued the U.S. government, claiming that its stripping of Fannie Mae's (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac's (OTCQB:FMCC) profit illegally short changes investors in the mortgage companies' common stock.
- Hedge funds have previously sued the government over the two, although most of those lawsuits focused on the companies' preferred stock.
- Pershing is accusing the government's "brazen" practice since 2012 of funneling virtually all profit from Fannie and Freddie to the U.S. Treasury Department.
- Previously: Ackman reportedly leading another suit over GSEs
Aug. 14, 2014, 3:50 PM
- The GSEs have their tails in the air on a report shareholders - led by Bill Ackman's Pershing Square - plan tomorrow to file the latest in a string of lawsuits against the government for requisitioning the profits of the two, reports The Street's Dan Freed.
- Pershing Square is by far the largest non-government owner of common stock of Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA +3.8%) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC +4.5%), and numerous individual investors will join the suit. Another large holder - Bruce Berkowitz's Fairholme Capital - has much of its stake tied up in the preferred shares of the companies.
Aug. 11, 2014, 3:37 PM
- Private investors argue the government's share of Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA -1.2%) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC -1.2%) profits should be limited to the 10% dividend on its preferred stake in the GSEs. The difference between this amount and the so-called sweep amounted to tens of billions last year - hence the attention and the suits, writes John Carney.
- With tax benefits and legal settlements winding down, Frannie reported far smaller profits in Q2, making the difference between the sweep and the 10% dividend negligible. In the case of Freddie, in fact, it could be argued the sweep is less than what it would have paid on the 10% dividend plus some sort of commitment fee on its credit line.
- The difference is wider at Fannie Mae, but "sweep or no sweep, there is close to nothing left over for investors in either Fannie or Freddie," says Carney.
FNMA vs. ETF Alternatives
Fannie Mae is a government-sponsored enterprise that was chartered by Congress in 1938 to support liquidity, stability and affordability in the secondary mortgage market, where existing mortgage-related assets are purchased and sold.
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