FMCC - Freddie Mac

Other OTC - Other OTC Delayed Price. Currency in USD
3.6000
+0.2500 (+7.46%)
At close: 3:59PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close3.3500
Open3.4100
Bid0.0000 x 0
Ask0.0000 x 0
Day's Range3.3900 - 3.6000
52 Week Range0.9800 - 3.8200
Volume10,584,229
Avg. Volume2,797,693
Market Cap2.34B
Beta (3Y Monthly)2.80
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-0.2500
Earnings DateOct 29, 2019 - Nov 4, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend Date2008-06-12
1y Target Est4.00
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • FHFA says Fannie and Freddie must direct over one-third of multifamily loans towards affordable housing
    MarketWatch

    FHFA says Fannie and Freddie must direct over one-third of multifamily loans towards affordable housing

    Over a third of the multifamily loans the two firms purchase must now be directed toward affordable housing.

  • FX Empire

    U.S Mortgage Rates Rise as Geopolitical Risk Abates

    Mortgage rates climbed last week as the trade war and Brexit jitters eased. It’s all in the hands of the FED this week.

  • 5 major changes the Trump administration wants to make to housing finance
    MarketWatch

    5 major changes the Trump administration wants to make to housing finance

    Creating competitors to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and loosening mortgage regulations are among the proposed reform.

  • Moody's

    New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority -- Moody's assigns Aaa to New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority's Single Family Mortgage Program Class I Bonds, 2019 Series F (Tax-Exempt) (Non-AMT)

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") assigns a rating of Aaa to the proposed $120,000,000 of New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (the "Authority") Single Family Mortgage Program Class I Bonds, 2019 Series F (Tax-Exempt) (Non-AMT).

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 1-Fannie, Freddie regulator changes caps on multifamily loans

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency said on Friday it revised the limits on what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy for their multifamily business into the end of 2020 in an effort to address a shortage in affordable housing. The new multifamily loan purchase caps for the two government-sponsored enterprises will be $100 billion each for a total of $200 billion for the five-quarter period through the final quarter of 2020, FHFA said. The new limits apply to all multifamily business with no exclusions, the regulator said.

  • Barrons.com

    Mortgage Rates Have Jumped This Week

    President Trump has called for negative interest rates — but that wouldn’t necessarily be a boon for housing

  • Don’t Mess With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
    Bloomberg

    Don’t Mess With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s official: The Trump administration has a plan to deal with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — by returning them to the same quasi-governmental form that set them up for failure in the 2008 financial crisis. If executed, it’s likely to be a win for a small coterie of hedge funds, and a big loss for everybody else.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play a central role in U.S. housing finance. By guaranteeing payments of interest and principal on home loans (in return for a fee), they make the ubiquitous 30-year mortgage possible. For decades, they operated as a public-private hybrid. Their congressional charter to promote homeownership created a perception of government backing, which allowed them to get by with extremely little capital and deliver outsize profits to their private shareholders. The perception became reality after the housing bust, when they suffered overwhelming losses and the government had to rescue them at taxpayer expense.Since then, as wards of the state, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have actually done quite well. They have supported lending throughout the recession and recovery, boosted fees to better cover their risks, and paid more than $300 billion in dividends to the Treasury. Yet a rump of private shareholders, including hedge funds that have bought in since the crash, keeps clamoring for a piece of the profits. And legislators keep coming up with — and failing to agree on — sweeping plans to reform the companies and reduce the government’s involvement in the mortgage market.Now, in the absence of congressional action, President Donald Trump’s administration might go it alone. Its plan, released last week by the Treasury, is to put the companies back into private hands, but this time with an explicit government backstop. This means the companies would retain more of their earnings — potentially a huge windfall for the private shareholders. The resulting structure would be much the same as before the crisis: Shareholders would reap profits until the next housing bust, when taxpayers would again be on the hook — only more firmly than last time — to cover losses.Granted, the Treasury plan does call for shareholders to take on more risk in the form of added equity capital. It also requires the government to charge a fee large enough, supposedly, to compensate taxpayers for providing a backstop. This was how the old system was meant to work, and it failed. Such a setup gives the private shareholders every incentive to press for low fees and light capital requirements. Experience suggests they’re very likely to get their way.There are better options. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be merged into a single, fully government-owned corporation that would transfer most of its credit risk to private investors, retaining just the catastrophic risk that only the government can bear. This would get private capital involved without letting it so easily shift risk to taxpayers. Pricing the guarantee correctly would be easier. This in turn would promote more competition from completely private lending channels. As it happens, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have already been moving in this direction, issuing special credit-risk-transfer securities and creating a common mortgage-securitization platform.The Trump administration’s plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac still has a long way to go. There are many details to iron out and various political forces to align. As the idea moves forward, one can only hope that inertia will prevail: Doing nothing would be better than this.\--Editors: Mark Whitehouse, Clive Crook.To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net, .Editorials are written by the Bloomberg Opinion editorial board.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Moody's

    CIM Trust 2019-INV3 -- Moody's assigns provisional ratings to Prime RMBS issued by CIM Trust 2019-INV3

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has assigned provisional ratings to 24 classes of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) issued by CIM Trust (CIM) 2019-INV3. CIM Trust 2019-INV3, the fourth rated transaction sponsored by Chimera Investment Corporation (Chimera or the Sponsor) in 2019, is a prime RMBS securitization of primarily fixed-rate agency-eligible mortgages secured by first liens on non-owner occupied residential investor properties with original term to maturity of up to 30 years. As of the cut-off date of September 1, 2019, the pool contains of 1405 mortgage loans with an aggregate principal balance of $353,199,022 secured by one- to four-family residential properties, planned unit developments, townhouses and condominiums.

  • Deutsche Bank is first to settle bond-rigging lawsuit, amid federal probe
    Reuters

    Deutsche Bank is first to settle bond-rigging lawsuit, amid federal probe

    Deutsche Bank AG will pay $15 million to resolve claims it conspired to rig prices of bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , becoming the first of 16 financial services companies to settle litigation by investors. The German bank did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which also requires that it bolster its antitrust compliance procedures and cooperate with the investors. The settlement was disclosed in filings late Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

  • Mortgage rates have jumped this week — but could they one day fall to zero?
    MarketWatch

    Mortgage rates have jumped this week — but could they one day fall to zero?

    President Trump has called for negative interest rates — but that wouldn’t be a boon for housing necessarily.

  • Deutsche Bank Emerges as Whistle-Blower in Bond-Rig Probe
    Bloomberg

    Deutsche Bank Emerges as Whistle-Blower in Bond-Rig Probe

    (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG is cooperating with the Justice Department’s antitrust investigation into whether several of the largest global banks conspired to rig trading in unsecured bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.The bank earned leniency by providing information about other banks accused of rigging trading in the bonds. The cooperation deal emerged Thursday when Pennsylvania’s Treasurer, Joe Torsella, announced that Deutsche Bank had agreed to pay $15 million to resolve allegations in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, that accuses traders at about a dozen large banks of rigging the bond prices.According to the deal, the German lender came forward in May to assist Pennsylvania and other plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit. Under federal law, companies seeking criminal leniency in antitrust matters, which includes immunity from prosecution, can also limit their financial exposure by assisting price-fixing victims seeking damages.Deutsche Bank’s settlement, which requires the bank to install an antitrust compliance program, shows that the bank has been providing the Justice Department with electronic chats and other evidence that could be used to prosecute individuals and institutions. It also suggests that the bank, which is the middle of multiple criminal investigations by the Justice Department, is looking to win some good will with investigators.In late May, lawyers accusing the banks of manipulating the bond prices said in a court filing that they were working with a cooperator who was providing “smoking gun” evidence including electronic chats. Though they didn’t name Deutsche Bank at the time, examples of chats in the filing were between traders at Deutsche Bank and others at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas SA.The lawsuit accuses financial institutions of ripping off pension funds and others from 2009 to 2016.Torsella said the settlement on Thursday was “an important first step, but just a first step, toward greater accountability on Wall Street.” He said government-sponsored-entity (GSE) bonds like those of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “are foundational to public investment portfolios, particularly for state governments, school districts, county governments and local municipalities.”“We’re pleased to have resolved the matter,” said Troy Gravitt, a Deutsche Bank spokesman.The Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into whether some traders manipulated prices in the market for unsecured bonds issued by Fannie and Freddie, the government-backed companies whose financing underlies most U.S. home purchases, Bloomberg News reported last year. No individuals or banks have been charged.The market for their agency debt -- which finances the companies’ operations but doesn’t directly fund mortgages -- runs into the hundreds of billions of dollars.The lawsuit in Manhattan alleges that the chats about the pricing of the bonds in the secondary market also directly implicate Bank of America Corp. and its Merrill Lynch subsidiary, Barclays Plc, Cantor Fitzgerald LP, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, First Tennessee Bank NA, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nomura Holdings Inc., TD Securities Inc. and UBS Group AG.In addition to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these GSE bonds finance the Federal Farm Credit Banks and the Federal Home Loan Banks.Deutsche Bank approached the lead counsel for the plaintiffs on May 8 and said it was willing to provide them with cooperation materials pursuant to a federal law that allows companies to seek criminal leniency in antitrust matters, the settlement agreement said. The law also limits the financial exposure of companies that assist price-fixing victims seeking compensation.Judge Jed Rakoff in federal court in Manhattan ruled this month that the case against BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley could move forward. He dismissed the other financial institutions from the case but allowed the plaintiffs to seek to bring additional evidence forward that could bring those institutions back in to the case, which they did in a filing on Tuesday.Earlier:Wall Street Informant Turned Over Chats in Fannie Bond CaseWall Street’s Legal Nemesis Is Sidelined in Fannie Rigging CaseFannie Bond-Rigging Suit Lists 27 Traders Without Accusing ThemTrading in Fannie, Freddie Bonds Said to Be Probed by U.S.(Updates with bank assisting criminal investigation in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Gwen Everett.To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey D Grocott at jgrocott2@bloomberg.net, David S. JoachimFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 2-Deutsche Bank is first to settle bond-rigging lawsuit, amid federal probe

    Deutsche Bank AG will pay $15 million to resolve claims it conspired to rig prices of bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , becoming the first of 16 financial services companies to settle litigation by investors. The German bank did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which also requires that it bolster its antitrust compliance procedures and cooperate with the investors. Investors including Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella accused several of the world's largest banks of exploiting their market dominance to overcharge for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds from Jan. 1, 2009 to Jan. 1, 2016, and secure more profit for themselves.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Freddie Mac Prices $1.2 Billion Multifamily K-Deal, K-097

    MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 12, 2019 -- Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) recently priced a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates (K Certificates), which are backed by underlying.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Mortgage Rates Increase

    Freddie Mac (FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate averaged 3.56 percent. While this is an increase from last week, this is the first time 30-year fixed mortgage rates have been under 3.6 percent over four consecutive weeks since the fourth quarter of 2016. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist says, “Pipeline purchase demand continues to improve heading into the late fall with purchase mortgage applications up nine percent from a year ago.

  • Reuters

    U.S. Treasury eyes action on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac by month's end -Mnuchin

    U.S. housing regulators and the Treasury Department were actively negotiating a profit sweep of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday. "That's something that the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) and we are working on.

  • Financial Times

    Deutsche Bank settles US mortgage bond rigging case

    Deutsche Bank has become the first lender to settle civil claims of allegedly rigging US mortgage bond markets, resolving one of the lender’s many legal headaches for $15m. Deutsche was one of 16 financial institutions sued for breaking antitrust laws by allegedly using their dominant position to inflate prices and overcharge investors for mortgage bonds issued by the government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Pennsylvania Treasurer, which brought the case against Deutsche along with other civil plaintiffs, said the bank’s speedy settlement “reflects Deutsche Bank’s early co-operation in this suit”.

  • GlobeNewswire

    Freddie Mac Prices $718 Million Multifamily K-Deal, K-F67

    Freddie Mac (FMCC) recently priced a new offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates (K Certificates) backed by floating-rate multifamily mortgages with ten-year terms. The approximately $718 million in K Certificates (K-F67 Certificates) are expected to settle on or about September 24, 2019.

  • Benzinga

    Analyst Raises Fannie Mae Price Target Following Mnuchin Comments

    Federal National Mortgage Association (OTC: FNMA) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (OTC: FMCC) are having another big day on Wednesday after investors got some much-needed clarification following last week’s release of a somewhat lackluster Trump administration housing reform plan. On Friday after the market close, an appellate court overturned a previous ruling upholding the legality of the Treasury’s “net worth sweep” of Fannie and Freddie’s profits.

  • Bloomberg

    Hedge Funds Get a Crack at Weakening the Administrative State

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s not often that hedge funds and the Constitution come up in the same sentence — let alone the same judicial opinion. But the two are very much in play in an important opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.In it, the court handed a win to hedge funds that are challenging the 2012 decision by the Federal Housing Finance Agency to make Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac transfer their profits to the U.S. Treasury in perpetuity — a transformation of those previously quasi-private entities known as the net worth sweep.At the same time, the court also held that it was unconstitutional for Congress to make the head of the FHFA removable by the president only for cause.These two separate parts of the court’s decision are independently important. Both or one or neither could eventually reach the Supreme Court.One is based on the interpretation of the statutes creating the FHFA. The other is based on the Constitution. In principle, you could be interested in one and ignore the other.But that would be a grave mistake. What’s most interesting about these two parts of the opinion is that they are ideologically connected, even if they are on the surface legally independent.Both parts reflect the rise of a strand of conservative judicial thought that questions the very foundations of the administrative state — and thus of agencies like the FHFA. The judges who subscribe to this approach are inclined to limit the powers of agencies to make substantive policy decisions like the net worth sweep, which fundamentally changed the character of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The very same judges, following the same approach, also oppose agency independence of the kind that Congress creates when it makes an agency head removable only for cause.This trend is something you need to be aware of whether you’re someone who makes a living trading in regulated markets or someone who cares about how the courts are re-configuring the constitutional structure of the administrative state.To explain the connection between the two parts of the case, let me briefly simplify (or really, oversimplify) what the appeals court did.With respect to the net worth sweep, the court said that the FHFA’s statutory powers as receiver and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did not authorize the agency to transfer substantially all the capital of the two entities into the Treasury. In essence, the court said, it was lawful for the FHFA to bail out the two government-sponsored enterprises, and lawful for Treasury to take a hefty fee for doing so. But the net worth sweep, the court said, was really a liquidation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s assets -- and that liquidation went beyond the powers granted by Congress.To reach this conclusion required an extremely cramped and narrow reading of the statutes that created the FHFA. Several other courts of appeal have rejected challenges to FHFA authority based on analogous arguments. By its own account, the Fifth Circuit has now created a split with at least two of the circuits. Such circuit splits can eventually lead to the Supreme Court weighing in to decide the issue.What seems to have motivated the court is that the net worth sweep amounted to a serious policy decision about the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The court reasoned that the point of the net worth sweep was to block the possibility that Fannie and Freddie could ever go private again. In the court’s telling, this policy goal wasn’t consistent with the FHFA’s powers.But under traditional administrative law principles, agency powers to make substantive policy decisions are typically treated with significant deference by the courts.  If the FHFA is a receiver and a conservator for Fannie and Freddie, that would ordinarily be enough to let it make major, permanent changes to their structure and business model.In short, what motivated the Fifth Circuit’s ruling on the net worth sweep was a revisionist, conservative theory of administrative law — one that seeks to interpret agencies’ authorities much more narrowly than in the past.That same ideological turn with respect to the administrative state was also more obviously visible in the court’s constitutional ruling about whether Congress can make the FHFA an independent agency by protecting its director from presidential removal except for cause. Without getting into the constitutional precedent, the gist is that until now, the Supreme Court has been willing to uphold the creation of so-called independent agencies, run by heads who are appointed by the president but who cannot be removed except for cause.The Fifth Circuit said that the FHFA enjoyed a “unique constellation of insulating features” that made its independence a violation of the separation of powers. This was based on a highly dubious interpretation of a 2010 Supreme Court opinion, Free Enterprise Fund  v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.Essentially, the Fifth Circuit was making new constitutional law to the effect that an independent agency can’t be too independent. Again, this view creates a split between different appeals courts, and may have to go to the Supreme Court for resolution.The ideological basis for this attack on independent agencies is grounded in the idea that the Framers’ three-branch structure of government can’t be expanded to include independent agencies, which the conservatives like to call a “headless fourth branch” that is not accountable to voters. Justice Neil Gorsuch is leading the push for a rollback of administrative structures like independent agencies that he considers unconstitutional. There’s a lively and growing debate among scholars of administrative and constitutional law about how far Gorsuch can take the counter-revolution against the administrative state.The takeaway from the Fifth Circuit opinion is that this isn’t just some abstract debate among scholars about the future of constitutional law. It’s a debate whose gravitational pull extends to big-ticket litigation brought by hedge funds making predictions that are linked to its outcome. It represents that rarest of situations: when you can trade on the meaning of the Constitution.To contact the author of this story: Noah Feldman at nfeldman7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at sgreencarmic@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Strategic Value Investing: Bill Miller
    GuruFocus.com

    Strategic Value Investing: Bill Miller

    A story of the rise, fall and perhaps redemption of a value fund manager Continue reading...

  • Housing finance reform battle lines drawn in Senate hearing
    MarketWatch

    Housing finance reform battle lines drawn in Senate hearing

    There’s bipartisan support for reforming Fannie and Freddie — but not as much agreement on how to approach affordable housing.

  • The surprising ways foreclosures make housing-market downturns even worse
    MarketWatch

    The surprising ways foreclosures make housing-market downturns even worse

    Foreclosures caused by a burst housing bubble have many long-term consequences for the housing market.

  • Hedge Funds Left Dizzy by Mnuchin’s Fannie-Freddie Musings
    Bloomberg

    Hedge Funds Left Dizzy by Mnuchin’s Fannie-Freddie Musings

    (Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds and other investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac got more mixed messages from the Trump administration Tuesday, adding to the whipsaw trading sessions that have dazed shareholders in recent days.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, laying out next his steps on Fannie and Freddie, made clear that he plans to end a controversial policy that requires the mortgage giants to send virtually all their earnings to the government.That was the good news for investors.But Mnuchin also said he opposes any “simple” recap and release -- a move hedge funds have long lobbied for that would consist of building up Fannie and Freddie’s capital buffers and then freeing them from federal control. The comments, made in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, indicate the administration’s timeline for ending the companies’ conservatorships might be longer than shareholders would like.Shares SlideEarlier Tuesday, Mnuchin also told CNBC that Treasury would consider appealing a Sept. 6 court decision that marked a major victory for investors. Fannie slid 13% to $3.38 in New York trading. Freddie also fell 13% to $3.21. It was their biggest one-day dips since January.The slumps marked a dramatic shift from Monday when both Fannie and Freddie surged more than 40%, their biggest gains in almost three years. That followed declines to close out trading last week. Even for stocks that are notoriously volatile, the past few days have been dizzying.Read More: Fannie-Freddie Fall as Trump Plan Shows Quick Windfall UnlikelySetting it in all in motion was the Sept. 5 release of the Trump administration’s long-awaited plan for fixing Fannie and Freddie, followed a day later by a court ruling that declared it was illegal for the government to hoard the mortgage giants’ profits.Fannie and Freddie don’t make loans. Instead, they buy mortgages from banks and other lenders and package them into bonds with guarantees. The companies were taken over amid the 2008 housing crash, eventually receiving $191 billion in taxpayer funds to keep them afloat. They’ve since become profitable again, paying more than $300 billion in dividends to the Treasury.Ending ConservatorshipMnuchin trekked to Capitol Hill Tuesday, along with Federal Housing Finance Agency Chairman Mark Calabria and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, to defend the administration’s proposal for ending the decade-long conservatorships.Read More: Trump Fannie-Freddie Plan Urges Ending Decade of U.S. RuleThe Treasury secretary said it’s essential that Fannie and Freddie have enough capital to weather another housing crash. He added that he and Calabria, the companies’ regulator, are negotiating an end to the profit sweep so they can start retaining earnings.Fannie and Freddie are currently limited to capital buffers of $3 billion apiece, far less than what they’d need outside of government control, Mnuchin said. While he declined to offer a specific number, he told lawmakers it should be “more like $100 billion than $6 billion.”Getting to the appropriate level will require raising “third-party” capital, Mnuchin said.Congressional SnipingApparent during Tuesday’s hearing is how tricky it will be for the Trump administration to navigate the politics of housing-finance reform. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, the banking committee’s top Democrat, said Treasury’s plan is a non-starter.Read More: Trump’s Fannie-Freddie Plan Gets GOP Favor and Democrats ScornWhile Mnuchin and Calabria said they are willing to take steps on their own, they would like to see Congress take the lead on major changes.There are some policy changes Treasury is calling for, like an explicit federal guarantee of the mortgage bonds that Fannie and Freddie issue, that would require congressional action. Lawmakers would also have to approve the chartering of other companies to compete with Fannie and Freddie, a top priority for Treasury.(Adds closing share prices in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Dexheimer in Washington at edexheimer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump’s Fannie-Freddie Plan Gets GOP Favor, Democrats’ Scorn
    Bloomberg

    Trump’s Fannie-Freddie Plan Gets GOP Favor, Democrats’ Scorn

    (Bloomberg) -- The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee split over the Trump administration’s plan for freeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from U.S. control, a sign of the uphill battle Congress faces in overhauling housing finance.Republican Senator Mike Crapo, the banking panel’s chairman, said his preference is for lawmakers to take the lead on freeing the companies, but added that the administration should get going on reform. Senator Sherrod Brown, the committee’s top Democrat, labeled the plan a non-starter that will make housing more expensive.The remarks, made at a Tuesday hearing, are the latest sign that a bipartisan compromise isn’t likely anytime soon. That might embolden the administration to pursue its own changes, including steps to bolster Fannie and Freddie’s capital and reduce the companies’ mortgage-market dominance.Crapo encouraged such moves, arguing that they might make it easier for lawmakers to ultimately fix Fannie and Freddie, which backstop about half of the nation’s $10 trillion of home loans. The companies have been wards of the state since the 2008 financial crisis, when the housing-market crash triggered the government takeover. Lawmakers have repeatedly failed to agree on how to end the conservatorships.Trump’s Friends“Only Congress has the tools necessary to provide holistic, comprehensive reform to our system that will be durable through any market cycle,” Idaho’s Crapo said. “However, it is important for the administration to begin moving forward with incremental steps that move the system in the right direction.”Ohio’s Brown countered that the Treasury Department’s plan, released Sept. 5, would be a gift to President Donald Trump’s friends on Wall Street, and would be disastrous for U.S. home buyers.“The Trump plan will make mortgages more expensive and harder to get,” he said. It will also make it “easier for Wall Street to profit off of hard working families.”Explicit GuaranteeTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who defended his agency’s proposal at the hearing, said he remains eager for Congress to take the lead. There are some policy changes Treasury is calling for, like an explicit guarantee of Fannie and Freddie’s securities, that require congressional action. Lawmakers would also have to approve chartering other companies to compete with Fannie and Freddie, which is also called for in the Treasury report.Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson also testified at the hearing. They agreed with Mnuchin that they prefer Congress revamp the nation’s housing-finance system.At the same time, Mnuchin said Treasury is in talks with the FHFA, Fannie and Freddie’s regulator, on changes that don’t require legislation. Those include “removing” the so-called net worth sweep, an Obama-era policy that requires the companies to send nearly all their profits to the Treasury. Ending the sweep Would allow them to retain earnings and build up their capital buffers.‘Simple’ RecapMnuchin said he doesn’t support a “simple” recap and release of Fannie and Freddie, which is something that hedge funds and other investors have long advocated. There would likely have to be extensive negotiations over the process for freeing the companies before any capital raising initiatives -- like an initial public offering -- could take place. That could mean that a windfall for investors is still likely a ways away.Shares of Fannie fell 7% to $3.60 at 12:28 p.m. in New York. Freddie fell 8% to $3.38.Fannie and Freddie, which are currently limited to capital buffers of $3 billion apiece, will need much more than that to survive outside of government control, Mnuchin said Tuesday. While he declined to offer specifics about how much they’d need, Mnuchin told lawmakers it should be “more like $100 billion than $6 billion.”Taxpayer RescueFannie and Freddie don’t make loans. Instead, they purchase mortgages from banks and other lenders and package them into bonds. Those securities have guarantees that protect bond holders from the risk of homeowners defaulting. The process provides ample liquidity for the mortgage market, keeping the housing sector humming and borrowing rates low.The companies were taken over more than a decade ago, ultimately receiving $191 billion in bailout funds. They’ve since become profitable again, paying more than $300 billion in dividends to the Treasury in recent years.Shares of Fannie and Freddie rose the most in almost three years on Monday following comments by Mnuchin that he was nearing a deal that would let the companies retain more of their earnings to build capital buffers.Also pushing the stocks higher in recent days is a favorable legal ruling for shareholders that came late last week. On Friday, an appellate court overturned a ruling that backed the net sweep policy, a step that could give shareholders leverage in possible settlement talks over their stakes in the companies, according to analysts.(Updates with Mnuchin comments in the 11th paragraph)\--With assistance from Saleha Mohsin.To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Dexheimer in Washington at edexheimer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.