This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

'Wind Down' of Fannie, Freddie: 'Positive for Housing'?

By Diana Olick, CNBC Real Estate Reporter

NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- As part of its plan to "wind down" mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. Treasury Department is changing the terms of the capital support agreement that kept the two afloat in the first place.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were put under government conservatorship in 2008, in the wake of the housing and mortgage crash.

"With [Friday's] announcement, we are taking the next step toward responsibly winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while continuing to support the necessary process of repair and recovery in the housing market," said Michael Stegman, Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury for Housing Finance Policy in a press release.

More from CNBC
US Home Builders Begin to See Credit Thaw
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg: Please Ignore Your Critics
The Top 10 Ways Sharks and Bankers Are Alike

Treasury officials announced they will now require the two to reduce their investment portfolios at a faster rate, 15% a year instead of the previous 10%.

The Treasury is also replacing the 10% dividend payments the two make to Treasury on its preferred stock investments with a "quarterly sweep of every dollar of profit that each firm earns going forward." Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac only became profitable again this year, the first time since the crash of the market.

"We see this as a positive for housing, as it ensures that Fannie and Freddie will remain in business," writes Jaret Seiberg of Guggenheim Partners. "Absent Fannie and Freddie, we believe housing finance will become more expensive and less available."

Seiberg also notes that this is a positive for private mortgage insurers because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require such insurance when a borrower puts down less than 20% in equity on a loan. Without Fannie and Freddie, the private insurers would lose a lot of business.

The announcement, however, does not really speak to the future of the GSEs, rather just rids them of a counterproductive debt repayment situation. With the former 10% dividend requirement, Fannie and Freddie, up until the past two quarters, were actually having to borrow more from the Treasury in order to pay the Treasury the dividend.

In other words, it was a circular draw that didn't make a lot of fiscal sense. Now that they are profitable, they will instead pay the profits.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $118.03 0.00%
FB $105.41 0.00%
GOOG $748.15 0.00%
TSLA $229.64 0.00%
YHOO $33.16 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,813.39 +1.20 0.01%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
NASDAQ 5,116.1430 +13.3350 0.26%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs