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Saturday, September 06, 2008

More Fannie and Freddie

by Calculated Risk on 9/06/2008 06:35:00 PM

First, several people sent me this article from the NY Times. I'm skeptical of the accusation of accounting issues causing the deal to be rushed. Notice the phrase "not necessarily in violation of accounting rules" - I doubt Freddie violated any accounting rules this time:

From the NY Times: Loan Giant Overstated the Size of Its Capital Base (hat tip Sam & Devang)

The government’s planned takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, expected to be announced as early as this weekend, came together hurriedly after advisers poring over the companies’ books for the Treasury Department concluded that Freddie’s accounting methods had overstated its capital cushion, according to regulatory officials briefed on the matter.
The company had made decisions that, while not necessarily in violation of accounting rules, had the effect of overstating the companies’s capital resources and financial stability.
And another update from the WSJ: Treasury to Outline Fan-Fred Plan
The U.S. Treasury is expected to announce early Sunday afternoon details of a plan under which regulators will effectively take temporary control over government-sponsored mortgage investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Treasury won't necessarily make a large injection of capital immediately into the ailing companies ...

Dividends on the companies' preferred stock are likely to be suspended, people familiar with the plan say, and those on common shares to be eliminated. Any injection of capital by the Treasury would likely greatly reduce or wipe out the value of common shares currently outstanding.