The Securities and Exchange Commission capped a three-year investigation into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Friday, filing securities fraud charges against six former executives at the government-sponsored mortgage giants. The SEC claims that the execs failed to disclose the full extent of their companies’ subprime loan exposure. However, the outcome of the cases could depend on what exactly is considered a subprime loan, with one defendant already arguing that there’s no standard definition.
1. By what percentage did the Freddie Mac executives understate the amount of the company’s Single Family Guarantee business that was exposed to subprime loans in June 2008?
2. By what percentage did the Fannie Mae executives understate the amount of the company’s “Alt-A” loans?
3. What does a 10-Q filing with the SEC present?
4. Explain why most of these SEC settlements are set up with the language “without admitting or denying liability?” Do you believe this is a good thing?
Li, V. (2011). SEC Suits Against Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Execs Turn on Subprime Loan Definition, Law.com, Dec. 20 (Retrievable online at http://www.law.com/jsp/cc/PubArticleCC.jsp?id=1202536066304&SEC_Suits_Against_Fannie_Mae_Freddie_Mac_Execs_May_Turn_on_Subprime_Loan_Definition)