When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were placed in government conservatorships in September 2008, roughly 600 banks and thrifts saw $8 billion of their preferred stock investments in the two GSEs evaporate. With both firms now wildly profitable, there is increasing hope and speculation that buyers of the junior preferred stock are in for an eventual payday. No one is more optimistic about that happening than the Independent Community Bankers of America. For the ICBA, the question boils down to how much on the dollar its members will receive for the shares they still own. Its also a complicated question. When Fannie and Freddie hit the skids at the nadir of the housing bust, many banks and thrifts sold their preferred shares at market rates, that is, at something close to zero. In other words, they no longer have the stock certificates and any ownership rights. Speculators and bottom feeders do.