Yep, you guessed it, the federal government. The Financial Times reported today that Freddie Mac will sell a new kind of derivative that will get private investors to take on the risk of default of $22.5 billion in mortgages. From the story:
Freddie is selling a new financial product it calls structured agency credit risk, or Stacrs, pronounced “stackers”, which will absorb some of the losses on a pool of government-guaranteed mortgages that it currently holds in its portfolio.
And investors will apparently be gobbling it up. And why not. The riskiest tranche pays a yield of 715 basis points above interbank lending rates, says the FT.
It’s actually a very good piece of financial engineering to move the risk off the federal government’s books. But let’s all remember this the next time some banking regulator cries that it was derivatives that sank the financial markets five years ago.
- Agencies Scuffle Over Best Way to Make Loans More Expensive (mortgagenewsdaily.com)
- Fannie Mae Said to Plan $1 Billion Sale of Home Mortgage Bonds – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Credit default swaps are insurance products. It’s time we regulated them as such. (ritholtz.com)