Bill Ackman Drops One Of His Fannie Mae Lawsuits

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Bill Ackman Drops One Of His Fannie Mae Lawsuits

The focus of Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA) litigation has narrowed even more, with Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management filing a notice of voluntary dismissal for its lawsuit in the DC District Court on Friday. This doesn’t mean that Ackman has given up the fight, his lawsuit in the Court of Federal Claims under Judge Sweeney is still ongoing, and if you listen to some Fannie Mae bulls, it could even be a smart tactical move.

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Fannie Mae – Ackman focuses on Federal Claims

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Last month, Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac / Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (OTCBB:FMCC) shareholders took a big hit when US District Judge Royce Lamberth threw out Perry Capital’s and Fairholme Fund’s cases. While it is a major setback, both plaintiffs are appealing and it’s only half of the overall argument against government actions regarding the GSEs: the cases in front of Judge Lamberth claim that the government violated the Administrative Procedures Act by overstepping the authority given in HERA, while the cases in front of Judge Sweeney claim that the full income sweep violates the Takings Clause.

Ackman’s case hadn’t yet been thrown out by Judge Lamberth, but it’s hard to see what could cause Lamberth to reach a different conclusion for what is nearly an identical case, and Ackman’s decision to drop the matter means that he doesn’t think the Administrative Procedures Act is going to work out and doesn’t want to follow through with a lengthy appeals process. It’s not great news for shareholders, but it’s not a fundamental shift either.

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Dropping the suit may be a tactical move

Another interpretation is that Ackman is reacting to recent government tactics that are meant to shift attention the other way, toward the DC District Court ruling. Justice Department lawyers have argued that  Judge Sweeney should halt the Fairholme case until after the appeals have played themselves out since the two lawsuits have so much overlap. By dropping his case in the DC District Court, Ackman may prevent them from using the same tactic against him.

There is one other possibility that can’t be ignored. If Ackman has decided to bow out of the Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA) fight altogether this could be the first of two such announcements. Anyone invested in the GSEs might want to keep an eye on trade volumes as well.

ackman notice-of-voluntary-dismissal

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Michael has a Bachelor's Degree in mathematics and physics from Boston University and Master's Degree in physics from University of California, San Diego. He has worked as an editor and writer for several magazines. Prior to his career in journalism, Michael Worked in the Peace Corps teaching math and science in South Africa.
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3 COMMENTS

  1. When is Fannie Mae and their corrupt “substitute trustee” lawyers and
    partners in crime ….ie Bank of America, BANA, fka Countrywide, and
    Green Tree Servicing (note the green tree python -couldn’t have picked a
    better name for them)…When oh when are these corrupt organizations
    going to pay for submitting forged mortgage notes to the courts across
    the country to fraudulently foreclose on taxpaying citizens? Forging
    owners own names through trace forging and copy and pasting and then
    adding fraudulent stamped endorsements that magically appear…..WHEN is
    a judge or someone with the authority to do so going to actually do
    something to stop the fraud and help the homeowner who was hoodwinked
    from the beginning? I won’t hold my breath. The world we live in is
    sadly run by corrupt individuals who hold nothing but greed in their
    hearts and souls , what is left of them that is. If justice is sadly not
    to be found in this world, surely, MOST SURELY, it will in the next,
    which will be eternal.

  2. In my opinion, for what it is worth, I believe Ackman will be filing a suit challenging HERA soon. It is essentially what Lamberthe suggested in his judgment. If it is ruled HERA is the law, as was by Lamberth, that HERA allows the unconstitutional actions taken by the Treasury and FHFA then it is HERA that must be challenged before the actions it allows.

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