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American Federal Mortgage

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Fannie-Freddie could need $100B bailout if new crisis hits: FHFA

The mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could need nearly $100 billion in bailout money in the event of a new economic crisis, according to stress test results released Monday by their regulator.

The companies would need to draw between $34.8 billion and $99.6 billion in U.S. Treasury aid under a "severely adverse" scenario, depending on how they treated assets used to offset taxes, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in its report. The losses would leave $158.4 billion to $223.2 billion available to the companies under their bailout agreements.

Fannie and Freddie, like other major financial companies, are required by the Dodd-Frank Act to face annual tests of their ability to withstand a major recession. The results are likely to be used both by proponents of letting the two companies build a larger capital buffer and by some policymakers who think such an effort isn't needed.

The current terms of their bailout agreements require Fannie and Freddie to turn over nearly all profits to Treasury in the form of dividend payments. They are currently permitted to retain a capital buffer of $600 million apiece, and the level will fall to zero next year.

BankThink Fannie, Freddie are irrelevant to a government-backed mortgage system

As Congress considers what to do with the two failed housing agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is important for members of Congress to differentiate between issues of real importance to the greater public interest and those aspects of past housing policy that are either irrelevant or only of interest to special interests.

At its core, federal housing finance policy should be focused on preserving the ability of lower- and middle-income Americans — particularly first-time homebuyers — to participate in the housing market. To meet that objective, first and foremost is the question of a government guarantee for the securities issued or guaranteed by the various government-sponsored enterprises — including Fannie, Freddie, Ginnie Mae and the Federal Home Loan banks. Each of these GSEs plays a vital role in the $10 trillion market for housing finance, albeit in very different ways.

For example, the implicit government guarantee for securities issued by Fannie and Freddie is important, but the two corporate entities themselves are irrelevant to the future of housing finance. As any bond investor will confirm, the only reason that the securities issued by Fannie and Freddie have “AAA” ratings is because of the backing of the United States. Whether or not these two GSEs have “capital” is completely irrelevant to investors.

American Federal Mortgage Corporation?

Does anyone have any experience with the American Federal Mortgage Corporation?


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