Ralph Nader Returns to Fannie and Freddie Shareholder Fight

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ralph Nader has rejoined the fight pitting Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) shareholders against the government.

The well-known consumer advocate and sometime presidential candidate became a last minute addition to a conference call hosted Tuesday by Fannie and Freddie shareholder advocacy group Investors Unite.

Fannie and Freddie shares are down nearly 40% from where they were a week ago before a U.S. District Court judge threw out four lawsuits claiming the federal government illegally forced Fannie and Freddie to pay the Treasury nearly all of its profits, leaving regular shareholders with nothing. The lawsuits, brought by shareholders including Fairholme Funds and Perry Capital, contended that the so-called "sweep" was a violation of their Fifth Amendment rights against the seizure of private property for public use without just compensation.

While Nader has been a high-profile spokesman for Fannie and Freddie shareholders for several years, his appearance on Tuesday was his first in several weeks at least. It was also his first opportunity to weigh in on last week's court decision, which stunned Fannie and Freddie shareholders and caused shares in the government sponsored enterprises to lose 40% in a single day. Nader owns about 100,000 shares between the two companies, which he has held since before the 2008 conservatorship, according to a report in The Washington Post in May.

"This issue's not going to go away with one district court decision by any means," Nader said during a six minute presentation.

The rest of Nader's speech was familiar. He criticized government officials for providing assurances that Fannie and Freddie were adequately capitalized only weeks before putting them into conservatorship, making the shares essentially worthless.

"This was deception of the first order. If any corporate executives engaged in this even the slumbering SEC would have moved to action," Nader said.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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