I wonder if this is one of the things Gingrich was paid to advise them to do?

Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, has placed multibillion-dollar bets that pay off if homeowners stay trapped in expensive mortgages with interest rates well above current rates.

Freddie began increasing these bets dramatically in late 2010, the same time that the company was making it harder for homeowners to get out of such high-interest mortgages.
Freddie’s charter calls for the company to make home loans more accessible. Its chief executive, Charles Haldeman Jr., recently told Congress that his company is “helping financially strapped families reduce their mortgage costs through refinancing their mortgages.”

But the trades, uncovered for the first time in an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, give Freddie a powerful incentive to do the opposite, highlighting a conflict of interest at the heart of the company. In addition to being an instrument of government policy dedicated to making home loans more accessible, Freddie also has giant investment portfolios and could lose substantial amounts of money if too many borrowers refinance.

  1. Jay says:

    My wife and I got a Fannie Mae which was easier than a standard loan but we want to dump our 5.25% rate sooner than later… I wonder if they pulled this stunt also.

  2. orchidcup says:

    So they were betting against themselves.

    Trading on inside information to make a few bucks on the side while the taxpayers pick up the tab when everything crashes.

    This modus operandi sounds familiar.

    Where have we seen this kind of thing before?

  3. dusanmal says:

    Inevitable whenever there is an attempt to run business against free market forces. This is in its roots the same as Solyndra or Chevy Volt. Those connected in crony ways reap the little benefit that there is at cost of enormous losses for those who really fund counter-free-market ideology – taxpayers. It is time to realize that there is one person at whom the blame stops for this: President.

    • GregAllen says:

      If you are looking for a Freddie Mac crony, look no further than Newt Gingrich.

      Yet, the conservatives love him.

  4. LibertyLover says:

    If anybody on here is surprised by this they should have their voter registration revoked.

  5. Roasted Peanuts says:

    The US government shouldn’t be in the business of home loans anyways. Congrats to them for making some money off of the bloated government before it collapses. Good for them.

  6. Animby says:

    and we send marijuana smokers to jail…

  7. Hmeyers2 says:

    Why can’t Newt make bucks exploiting the system like Dumocrats like Christopher Dodd (the ex-Senator SOPA fag who runs the MPAA and tried to sell out our freedoms)?

    Although I have difficulty defining the difference between Democrat and Republican these days, Democrats don’t fear risks of losing elections in a secure district due to the food stamps/welfare state.

    Versus Republicans who are afraid the winds might change with the Tea Party peoples getting all upset.

    Newt would be a Democrat hero a la Clinton or the Obamster with his ethical challenged past and Romney is a soggy sandwich that no one wants to eat. Maybe the answer is the guy who has screwed up in every possible way and has the nutsack to show up on the campaign trail despite making a big ass of himself several times over. Perhaps this is the best our system has to offer.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Perhaps this is the best our system has to offer.

      Yup, and we definitely need a new system.

      We’ve become a government
      • OF the thousandaires (the 99%, that would be me and thee,)
      • BY the millionaires (the 1%, that would be the extremely insular privileged overlords and bosses,)
      • FOR the billionaires (the 12,400 individuals identified by the IRS as the people who count (though they don’t really count as they hire some thousandaires to run machines to do that.)

      Screw elections, we should pick our representatives from a citizens’ pool. They get picked, they’re there for one term and then they go back to life.

      We couldn’t do worse.

      • orchidcup says:

        Here is an organization that is attempting to do what you describe:

        GOOH : Get Out of Our House


        GOOOH stands for ‘Get Out of Our House’ and is pronounced like the word ‘go’. It is a NON-PARTISAN plan to place citizen representatives on the ballot in 2012, ideally in the primary against the incumbent, competing for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The members of each district will have an honest opportunity to replace the career politicians who have taken over OUR House and are destroying our nation.

        If you are tired of career politicians, GOOOH is for you. If you believe money has corrupted Washington, GOOOH is for you. If you believe politicians have too much power, GOOOH is for you. If you are weary of the death grip the two parties have on our government, and are ready to return control of our government to the people, then GOOOH is for you.

        GOOOH is NOT a political party. It is a system that will allow you and your neighbors to choose, among yourselves, a candidate who will truly represent your district. Members will select a citizen representative to serve their district. How our candidates get on the ballot will be dependent on when we reach our membership goal. Our preference is to compete in the primaries against the incumbent. It is possible candidates may choose to run in some other way; the candidates will make that decision based on the situation in their district. It is important to clearly state that we are not a third party. We have no platform and are a bottom-up organization. We are a process for selecting and funding candidates.

        This is an evolving system and your input is requested. The questions are changing based on the feedback of members like you. Participate in the forums. Send us your thoughts. This is YOUR system. We will perfect it with your input.

  8. Dr Spearmint Fur says:

    The US government should get out of the business of banking and into the business of, well, governance. Commercial and investment activities should be completely separate. If they provided that simple oversight than you could dump Freddie and Fannie over the side. It’s a stupid solution to a lack of basic oversight.

    The whole thing has become such a tangled mess that it may be impossible to pull them apart without a collapse.

  9. sargasso_c says:

    A trap? The US personal debt crisis certainly isn’t Freddy Mac’s making.

  10. GregAllen says:

    Didn’t Romney bet against Florida home owners?

    The more Floridians who lose their homes, the richer Romney gets.

    Yet they seem likely to vote for him!

  11. The Timekeeper says:


  12. Joe P says:

    My banker told me I had to have 20% down before he would talk to me about a loan. I brown bagged lunch for years and needed 27% down before I thought I could afford the monthly payments. I paid points to get down to 7.5% for 30 years. Yeah, the banks screwed you guys who put none of your money down.

    We taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidize home purchases by people with no willingness to save just to placate a large, well-funded real estate lobby. It’s time to break the 6% sales commission down into a fixed fee and go back to saving for the future.

  13. las artes says:

    There are certain facts that will be detrimental to the client and, if they are present, will influence the decision of whether to voluntarily answer questions. If trades occurred in accounts other than the client’s own individual account, such as family members’ accounts or corporate accounts, then such trading will be seen by the SEC as an attempt to conceal the client’s trading, particularly if the accounts are not readily associated with the client, i.e. using accounts of family members with a different last name. If the trader purchased or sold options on the stock instead of the stock itself this will be a major red flag because options allow the trader to leverage his investment and will generate substantially more in profits when the stock moves in the anticipated direction. Finally, the defense attorney should be familiar with the client’s past trading patterns to determine whether the trades under investigation are consistent with past practices. Facts to look for are whether the client ever traded the particular stock before, whether the amount of securities bought or sold is consistent with past trades and, if options were used, whether the client had ever traded options in the past.

  14. The investigation has also uncovered what Republicans believe is evidence that Countrywide was offering loans to influential people at a loss to the company. An e-mail, obtained by POLITICO, shows Countrywide employees discussing a refinance of former Fannie Mae Chief Operating Officer Daniel Mudd’s loan, acknowledging the sensitivity and potential for financial loss.

  15. dieta says:

    This unit is the largest in the Division. The unit presently has eighteen officers and four sergeants, with two details assigned to the morning relief and two details assigned to the afternoon relief. The unit is supported by a substantial evidence fund, which is used to meet investigative expenses such as drug buy money and payments to confidential informants. The unit initiates investigations based on information received from a variety of sources including street officers, community members, confidential informants, and other law enforcement agencies.


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