Thursday, July 10, 2008

Poole: Fannie, Freddie "Insolvent"

by Bill McBride on 7/10/2008 12:23:00 AM

From Bloomberg: Fannie Mae, Freddie Losses Make Them `Insolvent,' Poole Says (hat tip Dwight)

Chances are increasing that the U.S. may need to bail out Fannie Mae and the smaller Freddie Mac, former St. Louis Federal Reserve President William Poole said in an interview. Freddie Mac owed $5.2 billion more than its assets were worth in the first quarter, making it insolvent under fair value accounting rules, he said. The fair value of Fannie Mae's assets fell 66 percent to $12.2 billion, data provided by the Washington-based company show, and may be negative next quarter, Poole said.

``Congress ought to recognize that these firms are insolvent, that it is allowing these firms to continue to exist as bastions of privilege, financed by the taxpayer,'' Poole, 71, who left the Fed in March, said in an interview.
And Fannie and Freddie are on page 1 of the WSJ: U.S. Mulls Future of Fannie, Freddie
The Bush administration has held talks about what to do in the event mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac falter ... The government doesn't expect the entities to fail and no rescue plan is imminent ... Treasury officials are nonetheless talking about what the government could -- or should -- do if Fannie and Freddie become so pressed that they are unable to borrow money and continue operating.
It seems like everyone is piling on ...