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Posts Tagged ‘collapse of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’

A Wall St. Insider’s View of Freddie/Fannie

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 16th, 2008 6:00 AM |

I am happy to provide you with a full accounting of what occurred from the late ’90s to the present.

–The repeal of Glass-Stegall (GLBA) is a total non-event in the midst of the current economic turmoil. What this repeal did was allow commercial banks to get more deeply involved with investment banking activities. Thus, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America were able to utilize their significant balance sheets and capital bases to become a force on Wall Street. Fast forward ten years and it is those institutions that are now thankfully supporting and bailing out our system.

–Throughout the 90s and into the early part of this century, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were utilizing their significant lobbying power to gain an ever increasing portion of the overall U.S. mortgage market. They had the enormous advantage of being able to borrow at just marginally over U.S, government rates given the “implied” but not explicit backing of Uncle Sam. I mean, come on. That worst case scenario could never come to pass!!

While Freddie and Fannie were designed to provide liquidity to the market in the form of bundling mortgages into securities, charging a guarantee fee for return of principal to the investors in these MBS, and then selling the MBS into the private market, they decided to “grow their business”. Just how did they grow? Given their ability to borrow at very cheap rates they decided to effectively grow their own internal portfolios. This business model was nothing more than a massively levered hedge fund under the guise of “helping the homowner”. (more…)






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