Commentaries

Freddie in the black, Treasury off the hook

August 7, 2009

Freddie Mac reports that it managed an actual net income gain in second quarter of $768 billion – a big turnaround from the $9.9 billion loss in the prior quarter. That means Treasury is off the hook, at least in this quarter, in terms of giving Freddie more money through its $200 bln equity line.

The Fannie Mae sinkhole

August 6, 2009

Fannie Mae has reported the a $14.8 billion loss in the second quarter and is going hat in hand to the Treasury for another $10.7 billion to pull its net worth out of deficit. The release is here.

It’s August. Do you know where Fannie and Freddie are?

August 5, 2009

Fannie and Freddie’s regulator-in-chief James Lockhart is stepping down to spend more time with his family, Reuters reports. Can’t say I blame him. He’s been at the helm of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, formerly known as OFHEO, for three years, saw through an unprecedented de facto nationalization of the companies, and still the future of the housing finance giants remains nearly as uncertain as it did a year ago.

The government owns the MBS market

July 6, 2009

OK, it’s not a majority owner, but the government has an impressive stake in the $4.5 trillion agency mortgage-backed securities market.  Barclays Capital’s last count, as of July 3, puts Federal Reserve purchases at $621.6 billion since it launched the program in January.  Separately, the Treasury Department has picked up more than $145 billion since the government put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in receivership in September. The Treasury data is through the end of May.