What a time to bury a press release,Christmas Eve, the headlines awash on health care bill Senate passage. Well, some of use are wired to God and despite cooking pomegranate glazed ducks and wrapping presents, we're not asleep at the wheel!
To find the juice, one must even look between the lines of the U.S. Treasury Press release:
Treasury is now amending the PSPAs to allow the cap on Treasury's funding commitment under these agreements to increase as necessary to accommodate any cumulative reduction in net worth over the next three years. At the conclusion of the three year period, the remaining commitment will then be fully available to be drawn per the terms of the agreements.
The cap was $400 billion dollars. Previously, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requested $800 billion dollars in available bail out money. Now, it's unlimited.
Treasury is also amending the PSPAs to provide Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with some additional flexibility to meet the requirement to reduce their portfolios. The portfolio reduction requirement for 2010 and after will be applied to the maximum allowable size of the portfolios – or $900 billion per institution – rather than the actual size of the portfolio at the end of 2009.
Note that the Treasury and Federal Reserve stopped buying mortgage backed securities. Current Fannie/Freddie holdings are each about $760 billion. Now is this yet another free money to Goldman Sachs and other large institutions to get them to buy toxic MBSes from Fannie and Freddie? They can now hold onto this toxic waste for 3 years instead of 2010.
Treasury will delay setting the Periodic Commitment Fee by one year to December 31, 2010. Treasury will also make technical changes to the definitions of mortgage assets and indebtedness to make compliance with the covenants of the PSPAs less burdensome and more transparent in light of impending accounting changes.
Get that? Fannie and Freddie now have unlimited funds resources and don't have to reduce their mortgage holdings.