Fannie Mae buried the media Monday morning with information about new mortgage initiatives. Given the rate at which these programs usually are unveiled, one has to suspect that, either the program people have been working overtime or that the communications office has been stockpiling the press releases.

Now why do you suppose''.?

Ah ha. Wasn't Monday the deadline for Fannie to release its delayed Third Quarter Earnings? Earning reports aren't usually an event to place on one's social calendar, but this time the report has taken on new import because the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have each announced investigations into Fannie Mae's accounting standards. Fannie delayed the release of third quarter results because regulators (from the Office of Housing Enterprise Oversight) had ordered it to make substantial changes. The fear is that these recalculations will result in a restatement of earnings.


As reported here last month, Fannie is accused of 'smoothing' out quarterly reports of income and expenses, delaying or accelerating reports of either/both to enable a smooth pattern of profit. Some regulators claim that, if this was done, it may have been to meet corporate goals that trigger special bonuses for high ranking officers.

As of this writing, those third quarter results have not materialized, and it is doubtful that the media was dazzled by the flurry of press releases this morning. For the record, they were broad based, covering new programs to assist seniors (Aging in Place ' Sioux Falls), low income buyers (Borrow with Confidence, St. George/Washington County, UT), and a new technology demonstration program (Phoenix).

There will be an update on Fannie Mae's third quarter earnings in this space tomorrow and, if any of the initiative above have general interest, a report on them later on.