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Volume 2016 - Number 10

March 10, 2016

All Eyes on FHFA as GSE Capital Wanes; Tweaking the Timing of the 'Earnings Sweep' Could Buy Some Time

If Freddie Mac needs a cash draw from the U.S. Treasury this year because of hedging losses, the Treasury Department could avoid tapping taxpayer funds by changing the quarterly sweep of the government-sponsored enterpriseís profits to an annual payment. That way, cash could stay on the books of a GSE longer and could be tapped in the event of a loss. At least thatís the legal theory being kicked around by several industry officials Ė including trade group representatives Ė who fear the political ramifications of a GSE needing Treasury assistance. To change the quarterly earnings sweep, the Federal Housing Finance Agency in conjunction with Treasury would have to change the terms of the conservatorships by altering the preferred stock...

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