25 December 2009

Monetization: Treasury Adds $400 Billion in Bailouts for Fannie and Freddie

What's another $400 Billion in monetization so that Fannie and Freddie can keep buying up mortgage debt?

Timmy and Ben can resolve to distribute dollars even as they approach a virtual insolvency because they can create them, seemingly out of nothing. The payment obligation for their dollar debt is their own creation -- dollars. But they cannot hand out endless amounts of nature's wealth, things like oil, gold, grains, and silver except as they may possess them by industry, force, or fraud.

And that is what frustrates the statists and monetarists, why the western central bankers hate and fear the precious metals as monetary equivalents and alternative stores of wealth, and deploy their worldly power in proximity to sources of energy. Natural wealth defies their control, is a mirror to their excesses, and a stumbling block for the financial engineering that is the basis of their fractional reserve central banking and a desire for world government and ever-increasing power. Ponzi schemes must inherently continue to expand.

They say fiat, let it be done, according to our will. But natural wealth does not always respond as they wish, and its silence is a profound repudiation.

The full extent of their power to command and control the liquidity flow of the world will be tested in 2010.

".....Back to the math... And here is the kicker. Accounting for securities purchased by the Fed, which effectively made the market in the Treasury, the agency and MBS arenas, but also served to "drain duration" from the broader US$ fixed income market, the stunning result is that net issuance in 2009 was only $200 billion. Take a second to digest that.

And while you are lamenting the death of private debt markets, here is precisely what the Fed, the Treasury, and all bank CEOs are doing all their best to keep hidden until they are safely on their private jets heading toward warmer climes: in 2010, the total estimated net issuance across all US$ denominated fixed income classes is expected to increase by 27%, from $1.75 trillion to $2.22 trillion. The culprit: Treasury issuance to keep funding an impossible budget. And, yes, we use the term impossible in its most technical sense. As everyone who has taken First Grade math knows, there is no way that the ludicrous deficit spending the US has embarked on makes any sense at all... none. But the administration can sure pretend it does, until everything falls apart and blaming everyone else for its fiscal imprudence is no longer an option.

Out of the $2.22 trillion in expected 2010 issuance, $200 billion will be absorbed by the Fed while QE continues through March. Then the US is on its own: $2.06 trillion will have to find non-Fed originating demand. To sum up: $200 billion in 2009; $2.1 trillion in 2010. Good luck."

Demand For US Fixed Income Has To Increase Elevenfold... Or Else - ZeroHedge
And this, meine Damen und Herren. Mesdames et Messieurs, may result in higher interest rates and a taxing drag on the productive economy. Which economies specifically and to what extent depends on how well the Fed and the Treasury can shift the pain of their excesses to the rest of the world. But it is not what one might call deflationary, and an impulse for the US dollar as a stable store of wealth, unless by force or fraud.

Treasury removes cap for Fannie and Freddie aid
By J.W. Elphinstone, AP Real Estate Writer
December 25, 2009

NEW YORK – The government has handed its ATM card to beleaguered mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. ("Its" ATM card? Don't you mean the holders of US dollars? - Jesse)

The Treasury Department said Thursday it removed the $400 billion financial cap on the money it will provide to keep the companies afloat. Already, taxpayers have shelled out $111 billion to the pair, and a senior Treasury official said losses are not expected to exceed the government's estimate this summer of $170 billion over 10 years.

Treasury Department officials said it will now use a flexible formula to ensure the two agencies can stand behind the billions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities they sell to investors. Under the formula, financial support would increase according to how much each firm loses in a quarter. The cap in place at the end of 2012 would apply thereafter.

By making the change before year-end, Treasury sidestepped the need for an OK from a bailout-weary Congress.

While most analysts say the companies are unlikely to use the full $400 billion, Treasury officials said they decided to lift the caps to eliminate any uncertainty among investors about the government's commitments. But the timing of the announcement on a traditionally slow news day raised eyebrows.

"The companies are nowhere close to using the $400 billion they had before, so why do this now?" said Bert Ely, a banking consultant in Alexandria, Va. "It's possible we may see some horrendous numbers for the fourth quarter and, thus 2009, and Treasury wants to calm the markets."

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide vital liquidity to the mortgage industry by purchasing home loans from lenders and selling them to investors. Together, they own or guarantee almost 31 million home loans worth about $5.5 trillion, or about half of all mortgages. Without government aid, the firms would have gone broke, leaving millions of people unable to get a mortgage.

The biggest headwind facing the housing recovery has been the rise in foreclosures as unemployment remains high. The two companies, facing mounting losses from mortgage defaults, were taken over by the government in September 2008 under the authority of a law Congress passed in the summer of 2008.

So far the government has provided $60 billion to Fannie Mae and $51 billion to Freddie Mac. The assistance is being provided in exchange for preferred stock paying a 10 percent dividend. The Bush administration first pledged up to $100 billion in support for each company, an amount that was doubled to $200 billion for each by the Obama administration in February.

Treasury officials will provide an updated estimate for Fannie and Freddie losses in February when President Barack Obama sends his 2011 budget to Congress. Though the administration has yet to disclose its long-term plans for the two companies, they are unlikely to return to their former power and influence.

The news followed an announcement Thursday that the CEOs of Fannie and Freddie could get paid as much as $6 million for 2009, despite the companies' dismal performances this year.

Fannie's CEO, Michael Williams, and Freddie CEO Charles "Ed" Haldeman Jr. each will receive $900,000 in salary, $3.1 million in deferred payments next year and another $2 million if they meet certain performance goals, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The pay packages were approved by the Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie and Freddie....