Freddie Mac acting CFO found dead
2009/04/22, 3:12 pm
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WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) – David Kellermann, acting chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac (FRE.P) (FRE.N), was found dead on Wednesday in his suburban Virginia home, a Fairfax County police spokeswoman said.


Police were called at 4:48 a.m. EDT (8:48 GMT) to Reston, Virginia, spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell told Reuters.


Local media reported that Kellermann’s wife called in an apparent suicide, but Caldwell did not elaborate on the cause of death. The incident is under investigation, she said.


Kellermann, 41, had worked with Freddie Mac for more than 16 years and was named acting CFO in September.


Shares of Freddie Mac slid 9.3 percent to 78 cents in premarket trade.


The U.S. government intervened last year to take over Freddie and rival mortgage finance company Fannie Mae as mounting losses on housing investments weakened their balance sheets and played a role in the U.S. housing and global credit crisis.


The two government-sponsored enterprises had a hand in about half of the entire U.S. mortgage market and were taken over in an effort to ward off further damage to the U.S. housing market.


According to Freddie’s website, Kellermann was responsible for the company’s financial controls, financial reporting, tax, capital oversight and compliance with the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley accounting standards. He also oversaw the company’s annual budgeting and financial planning processes.


Before taking over as acting CFO, he served as senior vice president, corporate controller and principal accounting officer. (Reporting by Walden Siew; Editing by Doina Chiacu)


Fed officials state the worst is over
2009/04/20, 4:29 pm
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The worst of the economic crisis is over, according to U.S. officials speaking at a financial conference Friday at Vanderbilt University.

Frank Nothaft, the chief economist for Freddie Mac, said housing sales have just about hit bottom and a third of home sales are now foreclosed properties.

Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, warned that the declining commercial real estate market still poses a risk to the economy.

New York Fed chief William Dudley complained that the programs the government has put in place are being undermined by public perception that they are unfair to average taxpayers and that has made some potential investors fearful that they would be the focus of public outrage if they profit from the programs.

“It is worth emphasizing (that) actions that lead investors to shun taking risk, especially in this environment, are ultimately detrimental to the ability of households and businesses to secure credit at reasonable borrowing rates,” Dudley said.

Source: Reuters News, Ros Krasny and Kristina Cooke (04/18/2009)

CEO Leaving Troubled Mortgage Giant Freddie Mac After 6 Months
2009/03/03, 3:03 pm
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The CEO of embattled mortgage titan Freddie Mac (FRE), who was installed last year to head the company after the federal government took it over, announced Monday that he is resigning.

David Moffett will leave his position by March 13. He had indicated that he wants to return to the financial services industry.

His announcement comes as a critical juncture, leaving the financially battered company — a crucial segment of the beleaguered housing market — with no foreseeable leader.

It also comes as Freddie Mac seeks billions of dollars more in federal financial help and is being hailed by the Obama administration as a vehicle for restoring confidence to the housing market.

Freddie officials said Monday that an interim successor will be named before Moffett departs.

“I don’t know what to make of this,” says Mark Zandi at Moody’s “It’s never a good thing for an institution to be without a leader, especially in a time of crisis.”

Freddie’s board of directors and the Federal Housing Financing Agency, which serves as the regulator for Freddie and Fannie Mae (FNM), will appoint the interim leader. Moffett started Sept. 17. He previously served as chief financial officer of U.S. Bancorp from 1993 until 2007.

The announcement comes as Freddie gets billions in federal bailout funds. Already, it has tapped $13.8 billion in government funds, and informed regulators it may need up $30 billion to $35 billion more from Treasury to help ensure positive stockholder equity and maintain adequate capital. Freddie will report its financial results in March, and that is expected to show additional losses.

Freddie Mac has about 5,500 employees and has been thrust into the spotlight since last fall, when the federal government put the company into conservatorship. Moffett was appointed to replace Richard Syron as CEO.

John Koskinen, chairman of the board, said Monday in a statement that “we are very sorry to see David go. He made valuable contributions to Freddie Mac as the company transitioned into conservatorship.”

Freddie’s portfolios have been pounded by the record pace of foreclosures. Freddie and its sister, Fannie Mae, were put into conservatorship due to losses on bad mortgage debt and their exposure to subprime loans. The two guarantee or hold more than half of the nation’s mortgages.

The federal government has agreed to provide the mortgage giants with funding in return for stock and ownership.

The announcement comes just after the Obama administration unveiled its housing rescue plan, which relies heavily on Freddie and Fannie to restore confidence to the marketplace. Homeowners who took out conforming loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie will be able to refinance through those institutions — a plan designed to aid millions of homeowners who can’t refinance because they owe more on their homes than they’re worth.


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