|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||12.96 - 13.08|
|52 Week Range||5.20 - 13.35|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.45|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||568.26|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- The swift move higher in Treasury rates sent mortgage duration, a measure of a bond’s sensitivity to changes in interest rates, to its biggest weekly increase in almost nine years.The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. MBS index duration rose to 3.11 years from 2.45 years last week, a 27% increase. This was the most violent swing higher in percentage terms since the 47% increase seen during the week ending Sept. 24, 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Duration is rising on the assumption that principal payments will be received later than expected, increasing a mortgage bond’s exposure to interest rates during a time when they are increasing. This rise in duration is referred to as extension risk.Despite the Federal Reserve being expected to continue to cut rates on Wednesday, concern over extension risk may increase further. For mortgage investors who believe the trend of higher interest rates may continue, the shorter amortization profile of 15-year MBS can be one way to protect against extension risk.During two recent bouts of rising index duration, favoring these bonds over 30-year MBS proved helpful. For example, from Sept. 28, 2016 to Dec. 16, 2016, when index duration rose to 5.1 years from 2.4 years, the Fannie Mae 15-year index performance handily beat the 30-year by 0.80%. During the Dec. 28, 2017 to Feb. 21, 2018 period, when the index duration rose to 5.3 years from 4.43 years, the 15-year also bested 30-year returns, that time by 0.54%.Specified mortgage bonds -- created using borrower characteristics such as credit cores, loan size or geographic distribution to provide more certainty on when the underlying mortgages will be paid off -- are another way to protect against extension risk, for example by using seasoned pools. Collateralized mortgage obligations can be designed to protect investors during periods of rising rates, too.While prepayment speeds are forecast to rise about 5% to 10% this month, last week’s move higher in mortgage rates removed about $800 billion conventional borrowers from having any incentive to refinance, according to Brean Capital. So the Refi Wave of 2019 may be over.On a relative value basis, the option-adjusted spread differential between Fannie Mae 30-year and 15-year current coupon bonds is 2 basis points, well below its trailing 5- and 1-year averages of 13 and 9 basis points, respectively. Last, as 15-year mortgages are primarily created via refinancing of longer amortization mortgages their supply is likely to be muted in a rising rate environment.Christopher Maloney is a market strategist and former portfolio manager who writes for Bloomberg. The observations he makes are his own and are not intended as investment advice(Updates with definition of duration in first paragraph. A previous version of this story corrected the reference to expected Fed rate move in fourth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Maloney in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft at email@example.com, Christopher DeReza, Dan WilchinsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Over a third of the multifamily loans the two firms purchase must now be directed toward affordable housing.
Millennials are famous for their skinny jeans and avocado toast. But they've had pretty good luck picking some top stocks this year, too.
Creating competitors to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and loosening mortgage regulations are among the proposed reform.
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.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org, .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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
(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 email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at firstname.lastname@example.org, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(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 email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at firstname.lastname@example.org, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Fannie Mae's 2019 survey on how we feel about job security, income, and homebuying in next 12 months. Here's which results matter and which to ignore.
Fannie Mae Shares Explode Higher Amid Possible Privatization by Trump Administration It’s been 146 months since Fannie Mae (OTCMKTS:FNMA) began its epic collapse, as everybody in the market suddenly realized that one entity buying most of the mortgages in the country regardless of borrower creditworthiness wasn’t exactly the greatest idea after all. As a result […]The post Market Morning: Fannie Mae Cheers, Ford Junked, Deficit Tops $1T, Ma Retires, Parliament Prorogued appeared first on Market Exclusive.
The Trump administration will pursue the reform of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , the guarantors of over half the nation's mortgages, if Congress fails to act, officials told Congress on Tuesday. In testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria defended a plan to release Fannie and Freddie from government control more than a decade after they were bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s point men on housing finance will take to Capitol Hill on Tuesday looking to sell lawmakers on their plan for freeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.But with legislation unlikely to get through a divided Congress, the hearing’s top takeaway may be what it reveals about steps the officials will take on their own to end government control of the mortgage giants after more than a decade.The Senate Banking Committee will hear from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson less than a week after Treasury released its road map for getting out of the business of running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.Treasury’s outline, which was in many respects a plan to create a plan, initially disappointed investors due its lack of detail. But shares rose the most in almost three years on Monday after Mnuchin said he was nearing a deal that would let the companies retain more of their earnings to build capital buffers, which has been viewed as a key step toward their eventual release. Also pushing the stocks higher was a favorable legal ruling for shareholders that came late last week.Hedge funds and other investors will be watching closely for signals from Mnuchin, who could dim their hopes just as easily as he could boost them. Here are some of the key things to look for:Calabria’s CooperationTreasury’s role in carrying out the plan is largely contingent on negotiation with the FHFA, the independent agency that regulates Fannie and Freddie. Key details, such as ending the sweep of the companies’ profits and setting up long-term access to Treasury funds, need to be approved by both agencies.It’s unclear how aligned Mnuchin’s views are with those of the FHFA’s Calabria, a libertarian economist who formerly worked for Vice President Mike Pence. Their responses to lawmakers’ questions could show whether they are unified and how far they have progressed on steps that can be taken without legislation.In his prepared remarks, Calabria said the plan is “broadly consistent with my top priorities, which are to cement FHFA as a world-class regulator and to restore Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to safe and sound condition by building capital to match their risk profile.”Timing QuestionsTreasury’s report largely avoided giving specific timing for major policy decisions, but it indicated that Congress would be given the chance to come up with its own plan before sweeping administrative steps are taken.Senators will likely press for specifics from Calabria and Mnuchin, who said in a Monday television interview that he hopes to work with lawmakers over the next three to six months but is “perfectly comfortable” with the idea of moving without them.Legal ReactionFannie and Freddie investors won a big victory on Friday in their quest to end the so-called net worth sweep that has seen nearly all of the companies’ profits turned over to Treasury since 2012. An appellate court overturned a ruling that backed the policy, a step that could give shareholders leverage in possible settlement talks over their stakes in the companies, according to Compass Point’s Chris Gamaitoni.Any indication that Treasury or the FHFA has entered or might enter negotiations with investors would be welcome news to the hedge funds that have waited years for their post-crisis bets on the companies to pay off.Democratic FuryWhile Treasury’s proposals were almost uniformly criticized by Democrats, it’s unclear how much political capital party members are willing to use in opposing Mnuchin’s plan. Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren called the plan “shameful” in a statement last week, but the Massachusetts senator is unlikely to appear at the hearing, as she has a campaign rally in Austin, Texas, scheduled for later in the day.If Democrats do choose to make a lot of noise on the issue, either on Capitol Hill or on the campaign trail, the Trump administration could become more wary of moving quickly.Conservative DivisionsRepublicans have been split on housing-finance reform, with hard-line conservatives seeking to end government involvement in the mortgage market and moderates trying to bring in new guarantors to compete with Fannie and Freddie.Tuesday’s hearing could give an indication of whether there is potential for unity on the GOP side and whether there’s a chance of finding common ground with Democrats who have opposed past efforts by Republicans to scuttle the companies’ historic affordable housing goals.Senator Mike Crapo, the Idaho Republican who leads the banking panel, has said he would prefer that Congress play a role in overhauling the housing-finance system, but expressed approval of the administration taking some action on its own. Outside of Crapo, it’s unclear if there’s enough urgency to pass reform legislation, potentially leaving the administration to act on its own.To contact the reporter on this story: Austin Weinstein in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at firstname.lastname@example.org, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Trump administration officials plans’ for pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac towards private ownership on Tuesday faced sharp criticism from Democratic senators, who argued the reforms would make mortgages more costly. “When I look at a $3tn institution levered up 1,000 to one, it keeps me up at night,” Mr Calabria said during a hearing before the Senate banking committee.
(Bloomberg) -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac soared the most in almost three years Monday as hedge funds that have long hoped to make a windfall on their investments in the mortgage giants got a double-dose of good news.First, shareholders won an important legal victory after markets closed Sept. 6 that gave them renewed optimism of getting their hands on billions of dollars in company profits that now go to the government.Then, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said early Monday that he will soon reach a deal that allows Fannie and Freddie to hold on to some of their earnings, so they can start rebuilding their capital buffers.The step is considered crucial in eventually freeing the companies from federal control, which has been their status since the 2008 financial crisis. That’s because Fannie and Freddie are currently restricted from holding more than $3 billion in capital apiece, far short of what they would need to weather another housing crash as private companies.Fannie jumped 43% to $3.88 in New York trading, the biggest one-day gain since November 2016. Freddie surged 43% to $3.67, also its biggest rise in almost three years.Among investors benefiting from the gains are some of the biggest names in finance, including John Paulson, Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management and Blackstone Group Inc.Read More: Fannie-Freddie Soar as Wall Street Hails Court Win, Mnuchin PlanTreasury is “in the process of negotiating” a plan for Fannie and Freddie to retain earnings with the Federal Finance Housing Agency, Fannie and Freddie’s regulator, Mnuchin said Monday in an interview with Fox Business. “We expect a near-term agreement to retain their earnings,” he said.Revamping SweepFor Fannie and Freddie to hold on to their earnings, Treasury and FHFA would have to halt or revamp a controversial policy implemented in 2012 during the Obama administration, known as the net worth sweep, that requires the companies to send virtually all their profits to the Treasury.Hedge funds and other investors that own Fannie and Freddie shares have long fought to end the sweep through litigation, claiming it was illegal. The shareholders won a big victory Sept. 6 when a panel of federal appeals court judges overturned a lower ruling that had backed the government’s right to take all of the mortgage giants’ profits.Read More: Fannie-Freddie Investors Fighting Profit Sweep Get Key WinThe Fifth Circuit appeals court judges, based in New Orleans, also concluded last week that the structure of the FHFA is unconstitutional. Investors still face many hurdles, as the decision just kicks the case back to the lower court. Many other federal courts have ruled against the shareholders, making it more likely that an appeal could ultimately be heard by the Supreme Court if the case isn’t settled before then.Litigating ShareholdersFannie and Freddie don’t lend money to home buyers. Instead, they purchase mortgages from banks and other lenders and package them into bonds. Those securities have guarantees that protect investors from the risk of borrowers defaulting. Fannie and Freddie backstop nearly half of the U.S.’s $10 trillion of home loans, a process that keeps the mortgage market harming and borrowing rates low.Fannie and Freddie were put into federal conservatorship in 2008 as the housing market cratered and were sustained by taxpayer aid. They have since started making money again and paid $115 billion more in dividends to the Treasury, through the net profit sweep, than they received in bailout funds.Assuming that Fannie and Freddie would eventually released, hedge funds started buying their shares for pennies in the years after the crisis. Paulson & Co., Pershing Square and Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital were among those who got in on the trade.Until now, shareholders have mostly suffered setbacks in their attempts to overturn the profits sweep. Their Sept. 6 win follows what also might be a watershed moment in Fannie and Freddie getting out of the government’s grip: the release of a Treasury report a day earlier that outlines the Trump administration’s plan to end the conservatorships.Treasury ReportThe Treasury document laid out dozens of suggested reforms to protect Fannie and Freddie from another housing crash, shrink their dominant market shares and create new competitors to the companies. Yet, it is only an initial step in what still would be a long and arduous road to freeing the companies from the government’s grip.The Treasury Department’s proposal left much to be ironed out, signaling many of the suggested changes may not come until after the 2020 presidential election. And if a Democrat beats President Donald Trump next year, the overhaul would likely be scrapped all together.Mnuchin said Monday that while he hopes to work with Congress to implement changes to Fannie and Freddie over the next three to six months, he is “perfectly comfortable” making administrative fixes if necessary. Only Congress can create competitors to Fannie and Freddie. But there is much the Trump administration can do on its own with FHFA, including ending the profit sweep.If Fannie and Freddie start retaining earnings, it would still take them years to build up adequate capital to offset big losses. That’s why most officials believe the companies will also have to raise money through other means, such as share sales. In conservatorship, the companies lack of capital hasn’t been much of an issue because they have access to about $250 billion in Treasury funds.Senate HearingThe Treasury secretary will testify tomorrow on the administration’s plan before the Senate Banking Committee. Joining Mnuchin will be FHFA Director Mark Calabria and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.The officials are expected to face aggressive push back for Democratic lawmakers, who are concerned that the administration’s proposals will do more to help hedge funds than assist consumers in getting loans, particularly lower-income buyers.(Adds closing share prices in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Josh Wingrove.To contact the reporters on this story: Saleha Mohsin in Washington at email@example.com;Austin Weinstein in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at email@example.com, Jesse Westbrook, Gregory MottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Sep.16 -- Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria discusses the outlook for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with Bloomberg's Vonnie Quinn on "Bloomberg Markets."
The Senate Banking Committee holds hearings on housing reform. Yahoo Finance's Julie Hyman, Adam Shapiro, Jessica Smith, Rick Newman, and Jeff Mills - Bryn Mawr Trust Wealth Management Chief Investment Officer, discuss.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is on Capitol Hill where he is testifying about the Trump administration's plans to overhaul the country's mortgage system. Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi and Alexis Christoforous discuss with Compass Point’s Director of Policy Research Issac Boltansky.