Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae in More Than $7 Billion of Mortgage-Backed Securities Deals in November

December 1, 2007

In November, Cleary Gottlieb represented the underwriters, including Bank of America, Barclays, Citi, Countrywide, Deutsche Bank, Greenwich, JP Morgan Chase, Lehman, and UBS, in fourteen Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed transactions, representing $7 billion of mortgage-backed securities. This activity brings total agency mortgage-backed deals handled by the firm in 2007 to more than $109 billion.

In general, the “agency” transactions involve the issuance of mortgage-backed securities, in each case guaranteed by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae or Ginnie Mae. Ginnie Mae is part of the U.S. government, while Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are government-sponsored, publicly-owned companies. In each transaction, the underlying assets were residential mortgage loans. The cash flows on these mortgages support the issuance of securities. The securities were issued in multiple classes, with some of the deals issuing more than 50 classes.

This type of mortgage securitization—originally known as a CMO—was pioneered by Cleary Gottlieb in 1983, and now accounts for roughly one-third of the total debt issuances on Wall Street. Economists estimate that the existence of securitizations has reduced prevailing mortgage rates in the United States by about 1/2 of 1% per annum since their introduction.