Riddle me this: When is a raisin like Fannie, Freddie investment return?

When the government takes it away

The machinations that led to the GSE conservatorship and the fallout since is making more and more headlines, this time at the Daily Caller.

Here’s a taste:

But what if, instead of taking your home or your farm, the government decides to help itself to all the future profits of your investments? Does it still owe you compensation? According to a group of investors in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the answer is an unequivocal yes. And it appears that the law is on their side now more than ever.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are two of the largest financial institutions in the United States. Together, they hold more than 60 percent of the new mortgages in the nation. Long hailed as sound investments, pension funds, mutual funds, and insurance companies have staked their clients’ financial futures on Fannie and Freddie’s prospects.

But during the financial crisis of 2008, the federal government took what it insisted was temporary control of the companies. In the interest of stabilizing the national housing market, the Department of Treasury opened lines of credit to Fannie and Freddie in exchange for $1 billion in preferred interest-bearing shares. The federal government became the biggest shareholder in the companies, holding nearly 80 percent of the common stock.

By mid-2012, Fannie and Freddie had reached record-breaking profitability and were paying substantial dividends to Uncle Sam. It was at this point that the government unilaterally decided to make its temporary conservatorship of the companies permanent. In an unprecedented move, the Department of Treasury announced a “profit sweep” of the companies. From that moment on, the federal government would help itself to 100 percent of the companies’ current and future profits. All other investors would receive nothing.

Read the full piece here.

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