Fed: No Discount Window for FNM, FRE

Saturday, July 12, 2008 | 06:43 AM

Go figure: In the midst of a deep selloff, a bullish rumor seems to have been planted that would allow for the rescue of Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac FRE).

It turns out to have been shite:

"Federal Reserve has not had any discussions with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about access to direct loans from the central bank, Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith said.

"Federal Reserve officials are following the situation closely,'' Smith said in a telephone interview today. "However, there have been no discussions'' with the companies ``about access to the discount window,'' she said.

Shares of the two largest U.S. mortgage-finance companies plummeted this week on concern they don't have enough capital to offset losses from the mortgage meltdown. The discount window offers direct loans to commercial banks at an interest rate that's now 2.25 percent, a quarter point above the Fed's benchmark rate.

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues opened the discount window to investment banks at the time of the collapse of Bear Stearns Cos. in March to alleviate the credit crisis."

These bullish bull$%*# rumors end up costing investors real money. Remember the story about Buffett buying Bear Stearns? That made the rounds, including all of the financial television channels, Forbes, etc., sending the stock to $126.

I am waiting for Jamie Dimon to call for an investigation over who started that enormously expensive, money-losing false rumor.


About Those Companies Brought Down by Rumors . . .  (July 11, 2008)

Buffett to Buy Bear? Bull$%*# !  (September 27, 2007) 


Fed's Bernanke tells GSEs discount window open
Patrick Rucker
Reuters, Fri Jul 11, 2008

'Fed Says No Talks With Fannie, Freddie About Loans 
Scott Lanman
Bloomberg, July 11 2008

Bernanke told GSEs they can use discount window: report
Wallace Witkowski
Reuters/Marketwatch, 3:10 p.m. EDT July 11, 2008


Saturday, July 12, 2008 | 06:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (35) | TrackBack (0)
de.li.cious add to de.li.cious | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Fed: No Discount Window for FNM, FRE:


In case this disappears from the Reuters site:

Fed's Bernanke tells GSEs discount window open: source
Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:18pm EDT
By Patrick Rucker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Freddie Mac chief Richard Syron that his company and Fannie Mae could take advantage of the emergency discount window, according to a source familiar with the conversation.

The source said that Bernanke and Syron spoke by phone Thursday afternoon and the central bank chief said in that call he intended the discount window to be opened if necessary to the two largest U.S. mortgage finance companies.

The Fed declined to comment on whether it was considering opening its discount window to the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). A senior senator said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon that such action was among a range of possibilities under discussion to help the struggling mortgage lenders weather a crisis of confidence.

"I know that both the Fed and the Treasury are looking at various options ... including things like the discount window," Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd told a news conference on Capitol Hill on Friday.

"I don't want to draw any conclusions about it yet, but they are certainly examining what other means might be necessary in order to shore up the situation," the Connecticut Democrat said.

Freddie Mac spokesman Douglas Duvall declined comment when asked about a phone call between Bernanke and Syron. A Fannie Mae spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Fannie and Freddie shares have been pummeled in recent days amid reports that the Bush administration was considering contingency plans for taking over one or both of the companies and place them in a conservatorship if their problems deepened.

Fannie Mae shares slid 22.4 percent to end at $10.25, off a session low at $6.87, while Freddie Mac ended down 3.1 percent at $7.75, off a session low at $3.89. The listings topped the list of the New York Stock Exchange's biggest percentage losers.

But Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson effectively rejected any plan to nationalize the companies, saying the administration's focus was on supporting the GSEs "in their current form."

William Poole, the former president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, said the Fed likely could open its emergency lending facility to the mortgage lenders under the same circumstances that were in play when it gave investment banks access in March.

Poole, a 10-year veteran at the Fed, said the U.S. central bank would probably have the authority to open the discount window to Fannie and Freddie under the "unusual and exigent" circumstances it cited in March.

But also said he did not think such a drastic step would be necessary, noting that the Fed could simply purchase the GSEs' debt directly and hold it on the Federal Reserve system's open market portfolio.

(Reporting by Patrick Rucker; Writing by Glenn Somerville; editing by Gary Crosse)

Posted by: Patrick Rucker | Jul 12, 2008 6:50:47 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

Recent Posts

December 2008
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      


Complete Archives List



Category Cloud

On the Nightstand

On the Nightstand

 Subscribe in a reader

Get The Big Picture!
Enter your email address:

Read our privacy policy

Essays & Effluvia

The Apprenticed Investor

Apprenticed Investor

About Me

About Me
email me

Favorite Posts

Tools and Feeds

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe to The Big Picture

Powered by FeedBurner

Add to Technorati Favorites


My Wishlist

Worth Perusing

Worth Perusing

mp3s Spinning

MP3s Spinning

My Photo



Odds & Ends

Site by Moxie Design Studios™