After the GSEs were placed under conservatorship their common shares plunged, as investors had no confidence the common shareholders could ever see a decent return, because of the size of the government bailout and the GSEs' uncertain future. Common shares of both companies traded for just 26 cents at the end of 2012. GSE shares were strong all last week, and Ralph Nader on Friday wrote in an explosive op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal that , saying the two companies' common shareholders should fight against the federal government's "great Fannie and Freddie rip-off." As part of its bailout agreements with Fannie and Freddie, the GSEs granted the government warrants to purchase just under 80% of the common shares of the two GSEs at a strike price of $0.00001 per share. "The zombie common shareholders have no rights or remedies against Fannie and Freddie, both operationally active companies, or their regulator -- the Federal Housing Finance Agency," Nader wrote on Friday. "FHFA ordered the Fannie and Freddie boards and executives to suspend communications with shareholders and abolish the annual stockholders meeting."
President Obama and Congress are expected soon to negotiate over the future of the U.S. mortgage finance market, which will include a way forward for Fannie and Freddie, or possibly the long-term dissolution of the GSEs