Sunday, September 07, 2008
The financial news media is all over today's nationalization of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the U.S. government. Here's a list of links with enough reading material to keep anyone busy until sometime around mid-week:
- Action to Protect Financial Markets and Taxpayers - Treasury Department
- Statement by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke - Federal Reserve
- U.S. Unveils Takeover of Two Mortgage Giants - New York Times
- Treasury to Rescue Fannie and Freddie - Washington Post
- Paulson Engineers U.S. Takeover of Fannie, Freddie - Bloomberg
- Washington takes over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac - MarketWatch
- US Government takes over mortgage giants - AP
- Mortgage takeover promises no quick housing fix - Reuters
- Fannie & Freddie Weekend Wrap Up/Linkfest - The Big Picture
One of the terms of the agreement stipulates that each GSE will receive up to $100 billion from the Treasury Department (at least, that's the ceiling for now) in return for preferred stock as needed in order for the mortgage giants to remain solvent.
In an apparent effort to make it look like this takeover isn't going to cost the taxpayer a tidy sum over the next couple years, the GSEs are required to pay the Treasury a 10 percent annual dividend on this preferred stock once issued.
Given the way things are going these days, these dividend payments could add up over time - after all, ten percent of half the current $100 billion ceiling would be $5 billion.
Can the GSEs just sell more stock to the Treasury in order to make these payments?
If so, that would be a sweet deal.