Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae in More Than $16 Billion of Mortgage-Backed Securities Deals in February

March 1, 2006

In February, Cleary Gottlieb closed 16 Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae REMIC transactions, aggregating more than $16 billion of mortgage-backed securities. The firm represented the underwriters, including Barclays, Citigroup, Greenwich, JP Morgan Chase, Lehman, Morgan Stanley, and UBS. This activity brings total agency mortgage-backed deals handled by the firm in 2006 to more than $29 billion.

February’s deals included the fifth series of Freddie Mac’s Reference REMICsm program. In this $2.75 billion transaction, Cleary Gottlieb represented a syndicate of underwriters led by Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse and RBS Greenwich Capital and including Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.

These “agency REMIC” transactions involve the issuance of mortgage-backed securities, guaranteed by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae or Ginnie Mae. Ginnie Mae is an association wholly owned by the U.S. government. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are government-sponsored, publicly owned companies. In each transaction, the underlying assets were residential mortgage loans.

Cleary pioneered this type of mortgage securitization, originally known as a CMO (collateralized mortgage obligation), in 1983. REMICs now account for roughly one-third of the total debt issuances on Wall Street. Economists estimate that the existence of this type of transaction has reduced prevailing mortgage rates in the United States by about ½ of 1% per annum during the 20 years since the CMO was introduced.