Friday’s early trade was higher on general optimism. The early rally ran into resistance and started its normal sideways (lack of) trend. Shortly into this sideways zone the news hit: lawsuits.
On the face of it you wouldn’t expect the news to drive down equities, but this is the only thing of importance that hit the tape. Perhaps the market is worried that the government subpoenas will spread. Are Citibank, JPM, and Goldman execs next on the list. Maybe when hell freezes over, but we can hope.
From the lawsuit:
This action arises out of a series of materially false and misleading public disclosures by the Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae" or the "Company") and certain of its former senior executives concerning the Company's exposure to subprime mortgage and reduced documentation Alt-A loans. Eager to promote the impression that Fannie Mae had limited exposure to- subprime and Alt-A loans during a period of heightened investor interest in the credit risks associated with these loans, Fannie Mae and its executives misled investors into believing that the Company had far less exposure to these riskier mortgages than in fact existed.
Between December 6, 2006, and August 8, 2008,(the "Relevant Period"), Daniel H. Mudd ("Mudd"), Enrico Dallavecchia ("Dallavecchia") and Thomas A. Lund ("Lund")(collectivel y, "Defendants"), made or substantially assisted others in making materially false and misleading statements regarding Fannie Mae's exposure to subprime and Alt-A loans.
For example, in a February 2007 public filing, Fannie Mae described subprime loans as loans "made to borrowers with weaker credit histories" and reported that 0.2%, or approximately $4.8 billion, of its Single Family credit book of business as of December 31, 2006, consisted of subprime mortgage loans or structured Fannie Mae Mortgage Backed Securities ("MBS") backed by subprime mortgage loans.
Fannie Mae did not disclose to investors that in calculating the Company's reported exposure to subprime loans, Fannie Mae did not include loan products specifically targeted by the Company towards borrowers with weaker credit histories, including Expanded Approval ("EA") loans. As of December 31, 2006, the amount of EA loans owned or securitized in the Company's single-family credit business was approximately $43.3 billion, yet none of these loans were included in the Company's disclosed subprime exposure.
…The result of these disclosures was to mislead investors into materially underestimating Fannie Mae's exposure to reduced documentation loans. Fannie Mae made similarly misleading disclosures concerning its exposure to reduced documentation loans in public filings throughout the Relevant Period.
By engaging in the misconduct described herein, Mudd violated and aided and abetted the violation of the antifraud and reporting provisions of the federal securities laws; Dallavecchia violated the antifraud provisions and aided and abetted the violation of the antifraud and reporting provisions of the federal securities laws; and Lund aided and abetted violations of the antifraud and reporting provisions of the federal securities laws. The Commission seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, prejudgment interest, civil penalties and other appropriate and necessary equitable relief from both defendants.
This news seemed to send the market lower, which then led to yet another maddeningly narrow chop channel. For more than four hours, the ES traded in roughly a 5.00-point range.
Trade well and follow the trend, not the so-called “experts.”
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