: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are getting booted from the
New York Stock Exchange. Ever since the housing-market crash, the
two government-sponsored mortgage giants have been kept alive by $145
billion in federal bailouts. Now, because Fannie stock traded below the
$1 average price level for 30 trading days, the two companies will
delist their shares from the NYSE.
- Here's What's Happening, explains
Jacob Goldstein at NPR's Planet
Money: "They went bust when the housing market fell apart, and the
government took them over. Both Fannie and Freddie continue to lose money, and taxpayers continue to
pay the price. Everybody seems to agree the current situation is temporary,
and needs to be clarified. But nobody seems to know what comes next.
Ultimately, it's up to Congress to decide. As a GAO
report pointed out last fall, the possibilities fall along a
continuum, from public to private." Those ideas are 1) Create a
government agency to buy mortgages and re-sell them to investors 2)
Reconstitute Fannie and Freddie as a government-sponsored enterprise or
3) Dramatically reduce the government's role in the mortgage business.
About Time! writes Matt Phillips at The Wall Street
Journal: "For regulators to allow mindless speculation on shares of what
is effectively an arm of the government just doesn’t make any sense. It
makes a mockery of the message of financial reform the government is
trying to send. Here’s the short version of that message: Capital
markets aren’t just casinos, they should play a constructive function in
society by raising capital, leading to the formation of companies and
the development of products and jobs that improve people’s lives."
Delisting Further Destroyed Fannie and Freddie Stock, writes Tiernan Ray at Barron's: "Shares of
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are plunging after both companies said they
would move their shares from the New York Stock Exchange to the
over-the-counter market after falling afoul of minimum price rules.
Fannie is down 27 cents, or almost 30%, at 65 cents. Freddie is off 28
cents, or 23%, at 94 cents."
- What a Mess, sighs
conservative Ross Kaminsky at The American
Spectators: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the unholy devourers of
taxpayer money in service of liberals' utopian visions of letting people
with low incomes own homes they can't afford, are to be delisted from
the New York Stock Exchange because of stock prices trading under $1 per
share for more than 30 trading days. This despite the fact that the two
have swallowed more than $145 billion of taxpayer money with
expectations for further losses ranging from $160 billion to $1 trillion
more... There has perhaps never been a more expensive demonstration of
the horrendous unintended consequences of do-gooder Progressivism and a
pursuit of 'social justice' combined with a Republican Party without the
backbone to do anything about the march to bankruptcy for fear of being
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
jhudson at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.