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The great bailout of 2008: bail, baby, bail

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aig bsc fnm fre leh mer logo

March 16: Bear Stearns, $29 billon

Sept. 6: Fannie/Freddie, $200 billion

Lehman Brothers: sorry baby no bail

AIG: $85 billion

Who is the next???

Essentially Fed/Treasury are transfering the downside risks from individual companies to the fed/treasury/greenbacks. Note the money pledged to support Fannie/Freddie/AIG could exceed the original number if the problem worsens.

I can only say: gold, baby, gold!

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Fannie Freddie and the market

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Short term I think it’s a deal for fed. But long term (it seems nobody is caring about long term these days), why should China continue to buy the Fannie/Freddie debt, for some premium over the US treasuries with substantial mortgage market risk (liquidity). I agree the US treasuries and Fannie/Freddie debt are co-related. It seems the greenback will continue to be a large part of China foreign exchange holdings.

But think a minute, if the United States can not sort out this mortage thing, why should China/Japan mess with it? I think the implication of this mortage crisis will be much greater than many peoeple (convention wisdom) think. The house will NOT always go up. The housing sector and homeownership are good thing, but sometimes too much of a good thing could be a bad thing. I think the people in China state investment Cos. should seriously think about their strategy.

The Market

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The great bailout of Fannie Freddie

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(Update, according to WSJ) The deal in summary: the US treasury dept. will put up to 200 billion ($100 billion each) to support the mortgages loss from Fannie and Freddie; the treasury will buy $1 billlon of preferred shares for 10% divivend, the preferred are senior to all other preferred previously issued (I believe all the other preferred holders won’t have much left); the treasury will have warrant to buy FNM and FRE up to 79.9% of company common stock for a nonimal (i.e. the current shareholders such as Legg Mason, Dodge Cox mutual funds will be diluted 1:5 after recent big stock price drop).

(Source: Yahoo Tech-ticker)

It appears the direct cause of the bailout is Chinese and Russian goverments are no longer willing to buy the debt of Fannie/Freddie. So what US goverment did is “all right, we will eat our own dog food”, and hopefully Chinese and Russians will follow.

Did China got a deal?
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Fannie and Freddie crisis, InBev snaps AB

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Fannnie and Freddie crisis
I read Burham’s beat Fannie Mae’s Golden Goose article last Friday, after seeing the dramatic stock actions of FNM and FRE on that day. Following that, I also reviewed Barrons March 11 article, IS this Fannie Mae Toast?

Yeah, it looks like it. The bad thing is, those executives at Fannie and Freddie have made their money, we (tax payers) are bailing them out. So is the US still a free market capitalism country? Seems more like cronyism capitalism to me 🙂

An emotional day in St. Louis
As you may heard from the news, Anheuser Busch accepted the latest cash offer from InBev, and the AB global headquarter in STL will be the North American HQ of combined company Anheuser Busch InBev. Because it’s a cash offer, the current shareholders (Busch family, and Warren Buffett) will NOT have a stake in the new company. Interestingly, this morning I heard from radio Mayor Slay turned 180 degree about the merger, saying “I will work with AB/InBev starting tomorrow, next day, next week, next month…to ensure the success of AB/InBev in the region”.

Hm, what did he say a while earlier (before AB shareholders and board accepted the sweetened offer from $65 to $70 a share). Something like “this merger will destroy the shareholder value, lay off workers in AB, reduce the commitment to community”. All kind of bad things. What a difference $5 can make. Now everybody is happy.