Feb 04
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: That went well

Image by qthrul via Flickr

There have been many predicts surrounding the housing market. Some say the worst is over and we are recovering now. Others say the worst is yet to come.  The truth is it all depends on how involved the Fed wants to be. Take a look at this article and you will see what I mean.

Is Residential Real Estate a Ticking Time Bomb?

I know we all believe the housing bubble has already popped and all things real estate are over. One might think this post should be from 2006 from the title. But it’s not, this post is from 2010 and below are the reasons for the question.

First is the latest SIGTARP report saying the Government has become the mortgage market with U.S. taxpayers shouldering the risk. From the SIGTARP report we have a 100% government mortgage market at this point.

SIGTARP reports 100% of Ginnie Mae MBS are backed by FHA/VA/USDA, 100%. The current financial support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is $1.4 trillion dollars. Look at the actual risk exposure of the above table of government backed GSEs, their MBS exposure, their funds and relationships. There is not enough taxpayers or bail outs in the world if those MBSes implode. I have to wonder if every single person in the U.S. was just given a home for free, if it would not be cheaper. Seriously.

Fannie and Freddie now have an unlimited bailout and it is estimated they have lost $400 billion dollars. The plan is to purchase $1.25 trillion mortgage backed securities from these two GSEs until the end of March.

The number of homeowners who are strategically walking away from their mortgages is up to 10% this year. We also have the percentage of home ownership to the general population back to slightly below the year 2000 levels. Recall the overall population is increasing about 2.3 million each year.

Note we might have $448 billion in GSE losses, $48 billion more than estimated just last month.

New Home Sales for December 2009 were 7.6% below November. Bear in mind there is an $8000 tax credit for first time home buyers plus a $6500 dollar tax credit for existing home buyers. These expire at the end of April 2010. The first tax credit expired at the end of November 2009. We also have actual rates low with no end in sight at least in signaling of the Fed rate.

Foreclosures for next year estimates vary, but seem to solidify at 3 million. 2009 foreclosures were estimated at 2.8 million.    –more

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Jan 18
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddi...

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There is always two sides to every story.  Should the executives be paid that much for what they do?  I don’t know really, but I don’t think they should be a martyr and give all the money back that they get paid.  We don’t live in a communist country where everyone receives the same pay check.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Fatcats With your Money

Rep. Barney Frank: Multi-Million Dollar Bonuses to Freddie, Fannie ‘Too High’ CNS News – The Obama administration recently approved base salaries of $900,000, plus $3.1 million in deferred payments, and another $2 million in bonuses for the CEOs of the failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When asked if tax dollars should pay those bonuses or if they should be cancelled, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), told CNSNews.com that the bonuses were “too high” but “nothing can be done now.”

GM, Chrysler, Fannie, Freddie Exempt from Obama’s Proposed Tax on TARP Recipients CNS News – Even banks that have already paid back their portion of the $700-billion federal bailout would be subject to a special tax under a White House proposal that opponents call punitive. But the failed and government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would not be subject to the tax, although they also received bailout money. President Obama blasted “obscene bonuses” on Wall Street Thursday.

Seventy GOP Congressmen Call on Geithner to Cancel Bonuses for CEOs at Government-Owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CNS News – Seventy Republican members of Congress want Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to cancel up to $6 million in bonuses and deferred compensation — approved before Christmas 2009 — for the chief executive officers of the failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “(T)here’s a letter that’s going to Sec. Geithner from a number of us calling for a rescission of those bonuses,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told CNSNews.com Wednesday.

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Dec 28
WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 9:  (L-R) Former Freddie...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Moves like this help me realize that politics is about getting reelected and making as much money as possible while in office.  I can’t see any way in reality, not fairy land, that this makes any financial sense.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have an unlimited credit line now.  Their line was raised to $200 billion shortly after Obama took office and now it was raised once again to infinity.

Tax payers do not pay an unlimited amount of taxes, and while it might seem so, China doesn’t have an unlimited amount of money to buy our debt.  All this is doing is helping a few executives and stock holders make their millions before the real estate markets crashes again, but harder.

I hope this solidifies the fact that the American public must hold their respective representatives accountable for how they vote.

Treasury uncaps credit line for Fannie, Freddie

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration pledged on Thursday to back beleaguered mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac no matter how big their losses may be in the next three years.

It also jettisoned a demand that the two companies cut the size of their mortgage-related investment portfolios next year, allowing them to provide even more support in the near term for a housing market recovering from its worst slump in decades.

The Treasury Department said it made the changes to assure financial markets it stood firmly behind both companies and to buy more time for the two government-sponsored enterprises to whittle down their mortgage-related holdings.

The two agencies each had a Treasury credit line of $200 billion. Combined, they have so far tapped about $111 billion.    –more

Fannie/Freddie Christmas Eve Bailout Draws Rave Reviews

The classy move on the part of the White House to give Fannie and Freddie an unlimited slush fund and dump the news on Christmas Eve is drawing rave reviews as finance bloggers get back to work.

Zero Hedge:

“So. Let us summarize:

We do not expect the GSE’s to grow their portfolios at all, so we are fixing the bloated portfolio problem by easing the portfolio caps to permit a quarter trillion dollar expansion thereof.

We do not expect either of the GSEs to need more help from the Treasury, so we are responding to the underutilized $400 billion “lifeline” the GSE’s have with the Treasury ($111 of which is currently used) by expanding it to… infinity.

Oh, and though they have collectively lost nearly $200 billion, we are paying the CEOs around $6 million each.

Great work team! It’s already almost 11:00. Let’s go to lunch.”

Chris Whalen:

“The issue for Democrats and members of the American Left raised by this article in The Nation is why does Barack Obama allow this situation to continue one day longer? The continuance of Dugan at OCC and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at Treasury illustrates how feeble the White House remains when it comes to financial services policy.

Or maybe the problem is one of conflict. Like Larry Summer’s derivatives toxic waste dump inside Harvard’s endowment fund?

And let’s not forget Rahm Emmanuel’s proud legacy as a director of Freddie Mac.

Maybe the Obama White House just can’t go there when it comes to financial anything.”    –more

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Dec 18
Sign Of The Times - Foreclosure

Image by respres via Flickr

Foreclosure may have plateaued, but there are still plenty out there.  Short sales now could take six months to close because of the numerous properties facing foreclosure.

Some good news for those still in their home.  Fannie Mae won’t evict anyone until after the new year. The articles below explain some of the current related news.

Foreclosure Backlog Hits 1.7 Million Homes

There are 1.7 million homes on the market which have gone through the foreclosure process. The number is at the highest level in history. The number, up from 1.1 million a year earlier, is likely to keep rising through the middle of next year or later, said Mark Fleming, chief economist of First American CoreLogic, the real estate research firm that released the studyThe news is another indication that there will be ongoing drags on the ability of the housing market to recovery both in terms of unsold inventory and prices.

It is a well-known fact that banks do not want to keep foreclosed homes on their balance sheets and are likely to keep dropping prices to find buyers. It appears that even this tactic, which should stimulate sales, is not working. There are several reasons why.

Many foreclosed homes are in neighborhoods that are partially deserted and will never recover. This is certainly true in parts of the inner cities of Detroit and other municipalities that have lost large portions of their populations over the last decade. Buyers will not enter these neighborhoods no matter how low prices get.    –more

Foreclosure news round-up

Home for the holidays: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said Thursday that they won’t evict anyone from a foreclosed home from Saturday through Jan. 3 — a holiday break. Citigroup, meanwhile, announced a 30-day suspension from evictions and new foreclosures.

The Christian Science Monitor, reporting on Citigroup’s decision, points out that this sort of move saves a lending institution from comparisons it might not like. For instance, Christmas Eve evictions on the other hand, “bonuses that the bankers are raking in” on the other.

Fewer interested in buying foreclosures: Forty-three percent of adults polled in a survey released this week by Trulia and RealtyTrac said they would be at least somewhat likely to buy a foreclosed home, down from 55 percent in May. Renters are more interested in buying a foreclosure than homeowners (57 percent vs. 38 percent). And — not surprisingly — more than 90 percent of prospective second-home buyers and investors are at least open to the idea of a foreclosure purchase.

For you fellow wonks: Just over 2,200 people were polled for the companies by Harris Interactive, which says no margin of error can be calculated because it was an online survey and not based on a probability sample.   –more

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