Friday, March 05, 2010

Frank: Fannie Freddie Investments not Risk Free, Treasury Clarifies

by Bill McBride on 3/05/2010 01:16:00 PM

UPDATE: From CNBC: Frank Denies Saying No Guarantee on Fannie, Freddie

From Zachary Goldfarb at the WaPo: Rep. Frank questions safety of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac investments

"People who own Fannie and Freddie debt are not in the same legal position as [those who own] Treasury bonds and I don't want them to be," [Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee] said in an interview Thursday.
...
In restructuring the companies, Frank said he wants "to preserve the right to give people haircuts." He added, "I don't want to preclude that."
and from Reuters: U.S. Treasury says stands behind Fannie, Freddie
"As we said in December, there should be no uncertainty about Treasury's commitment to support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they continue to play a vital role in the housing market during this current crisis," the statement from the Treasury said.
I think Frank was referring to some future structure of Fannie and Freddie, but the market took his comments as suggesting that current bondholders might take a haircut.

Treasury has reiterated their commitment to Fannie and Freddie (although I wish Treasury would put out statements on their press room site).