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Vanquished Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Shareholders Take to Capitol Hill to Demand Fair Treatment

Spearheaded by Tim Pagliara, Investors Unite coalition stages first action, bringing abused GSE investors from 18 states to meet with lawmakers

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 11, 2014) Under the banner of the newly formed Investors Unite coalition, some 50 vanquished Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders from 18 states and from all walks of life descended on Capitol Hill for a press conference at the National Press Club and meetings with key Senate and House legislators and staff to demand enactment of GSE reform that would restore shareholder rights. 

The coalition, which advocates for the rights of GSE shareholders, was spearheaded by a Fannie and Freddie investor from Nashville, Tim Pagliara, CEO CapWealth Advisors. Pagliara has been a vocal opponent of his own Senator Bob Corker’s draft GSE reform proposal (the Corker-Warner bill) and the subsequent Crapo-Johnson proposal that would codify the U.S. Treasury’s “net-worth sweep” of Fannie and Freddie dividends.

The press conference featured remarks by Pagliara and shareholders, along with a statement of support from famed consumer advocate Ralph Nader, whose Shareholder Respect has advocated for GSE reform that avoids pitting taxpayers against shareholders.

“We’re here today to show you the faces of the Fannie and Freddie investors, who have been miscast as only institutional investors and large hedge funds,” said Pagliara. “We are here to tell Congress that they must uphold the rule of law and respect shareholder rights as lawmakers seek GSE reform.”  

“Our laws were designed to protect the individual investor. It’s one of the most fundamental principles of our market economy: investor rights. And according to the law, there is no distinction between ‘big investors’ and ‘small ones.’ All are guaranteed equal protection. When that principle is subverted, it’s dangerous for our economy.”

Pagliara joined forces with Nader earlier this year at a Shareholder Respect forum that brought together affordable housing advocates with institutional investors to protest the government’s illegal takings of Fannie and Freddie profits. Subsequently, Pagliara received emails and calls from individual investors across the country urging collective action.

In 48 meetings conducted April 9, with Members of Congress and legislative staff, GSE shareholders explained the often devastating impact of the U.S. Treasury’s “net-worth sweep” of their stock dividends – a scenario that would be codified by the Johnson-Crapo proposal, which will be “marked-up” in the Senate Banking Committee later this month.

Among five investors who made statements at the National Press Club, Haran Kumar, an IT professional from Atlanta stated, “I believed my investment in Fannie stock was a sound decision  — because of the statements made by politicians and the laws protecting these investments,” he said. “None of us are saying don’t reform the housing sector. We are saying: do it appropriately; respect the laws that Congress itself has enacted!”