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Monday, December 28, 2009

U.S. may prop up housing further via Fannie, Freddie


-U.S. may prop up housing further via Fannie, Freddie

Unlimited support may presage more aggressive action in mortgage marketBy Alistair Barr, MarketWatchSAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The government's decision to provide unlimited support to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac probably presages more aggressive action to prop up the U.S. housing market.The government may put a mortgage-modification effort, called the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, into overdrive in coming years, pushing for reductions in the principal outstanding on home loans overseen by Fannie (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie (NYSE:FRE) , Bose George, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, wrote in a note to investors Monday.The U.S. Treasury Department said on Christmas Eve that it lifted $200 billion caps on the amount of taxpayer money that can be pumped into the ailing mortgage giants over the next three years.Neither institution is near its $200 billion limit -- Treasury has put $60 billion into Fannie and $51 billion into Freddie since it seized the failing companies in September 2008.However, Treasury said the promise of unlimited government money "should leave no uncertainty about the Treasury's commitment to support these firms as they continue to play a vital role in the housing market during this current crisis."Fannie shares jumped 21% to close at $1.27 on Monday, while Freddie shares soared 27% to $1.60.KBW's George initially found the extra support "perplexing," he said, because Fannie and Freddie are unlikely to need more than $200 billion of government money each.During the depths of the recession in March 2009, the Government Accountability Office estimated that the bailouts of the two companies would cost taxpayers $389 billion, the analyst noted. Since then, house prices have stabilized and have begun to creep up in some areas.Instead, unlimited taxpayer support will give the government "more flexibility in potentially taking more aggressive action to support the housing market," George wrote.It appears that the Commisars/Czars in this administration are planning for a total government against private ownership of real estate here in America. This is VERY DISTURBING!

-Blank check sends Fannie, Freddie soaring

By Chris Isidore, senior writerDecember 28, 2009: 4:30 PM ETNEW YORK ( -- Shares of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac soared Monday after the Treasury Department announced what essentially amounts to a blank check for their bailouts.Treasury lifted a $200 billion limit on the amount it was ready to pump into each of the two mortgage firms after the markets closed Thursday. Fannie Mae (FNM, Fortune 500) shares leapt 21% Monday to $1.27, while shares of Freddie Mac (FRE, Fortune 500) jumped 27% to $1.60.While the support from Treasury would appear to be a vote of confidence for the firms, the companies' leaders apparently have no interest in owning the stocks themselves...

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