This stock goes up 4x if m2m is released. FNM has 800 Billion of mortgages on its books, of which has been marked down for accounting purposes due to FAS157 (m2m) by some 5-10 % or so. That equates to 40-80 Billion FNM has had to write down so far. If m2m goes away, FNM's value goes up several Billion dollars, same for FRE.
My guess is the value gained to FNM/FRE by release of m2m would nearly erase the need for capital injection from the government, so this is a sticky issue because then there is an argument over whether conservatorship is going to be needed in the near future or not.
FNM/FRE are not healthy, but they are not as sick as most nearly anybody believes, and certainly have much more value than .39 cents a share.
Just remember that in the next several weeks you will see:
(1) Re-installation of the Uptick Rule. (2) Ban on naked short sales. (3) Mark to Market accounting for financials adjusted to Mark to Model Accounting. (4) Clarification from the US Treasury on the public/private bank bailout plan.
(5) Change in rules prohibiting shorting of stocks backed by taxpayer funds. This would include the financials, TARP recipients, automakers and GSE's.