Bets on Fannie and Freddie Cause Pain

The end of the Trump administration is the end of the best hope for hedge-fund investors who bet that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would one day be returned to private hands (Wall Street Journal)

The trade seemed likely to pay off four years ago, when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated his goal was to move the companies out of government control. But as the months passed, the likelihood declined significantly. Last week, Mr. Mnuchin said it wasn’t happening on his watch. The most commonly traded class of Fannie’s preferred shares have now fallen more than 40% from mid-November, to near $6. Common shares of Fannie have fallen from $3 at the end of November to $1.83 at Thursday’s close.