Investors Unite: We Have Grown

Investors Unite: We Have Grown


The response to our “We’ve Grown” post today has been tremendous.

Robert emailed to tell us his story: He was laid off, and by now his unemployment benefits have expired. He has three children, including a daughter with special needs. He and his family are living on the single income of a medial assistant. Like so many others, he put his money into the GSEs as an investment in his future — but now that he and his family could really use the money derived from this investment, it’s inaccessible because off bureaucratic decisions.

David emailed us to say that he’s a retired art teacher and his shares are supposed to go into an education fund for his grandchildren.

Without FHFA stepping up to the plate to make administrative changes to end the conservatorship, which the agency is well within its abilities to do, Robert’s family and David’s grandchildren will continue to watch as their government continues its illegal takings of their legally and contractually owed profits.

Part of the mission of Investors Unite is to put the human face on the tens of thousands of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors who, through absolutely no fault of their own, are struggling under the heavy-hand of bureaucratic decisions. Thank you, Robert and David, for sharing your stories with us.

It started with two simple questions: who are the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors, and do they know what’s happening halls of Congress regarding their stakes in the companies? After a little searching, the answer became clear and resulted in Investors Unite. Founded by Executive Director Tim Pagliara, a financial advisor in Tennessee and a stakeholder in the companies himself, the IU coalition initially sought to put a human face on the tens of thousands of Fannie & Freddie investors and to educate them on proposed housing reform legislation that would unlawfully wipe out their positions.

Investors Unite challenged the media’s perception that Fannie and Freddie investors were hedge funds. We are not. We are school teachers, computer engineers, insurance salespeople, retirees, U.S. Navy veterans, and others who believe in the American Dream of home ownership and believe that Fannie and Freddie help make that dream happen.

In our first three weeks, we spoke with dozens of investors who each had varying levels of knowledge about the government-sponsored enterprises in which they invested their hard-earned money. We arranged a fly-in to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., for investors to speak with their Members of Congress. We rallied in front of the Capitol building, and spoke about our American Dreams. Those dreams, by the way, do not include the federal government illegally taking shareholder profits and stuffing them into the U.S. Treasury general fund to make the deficit appear not as bad as it actually is.

In the six months since Investors Unite formed, we’ve grown to 1,100 members. Among those who have expressed interest in learning more are Capitol Hill staffers, staff at the Federal Housing Finance Agency and U.S. Treasury, and national financial and policy reporters who cover this issue and now recognize us as an important force for those whom we represent. Our investors come from 48 states, from all walks of life, and they range in age from the age of 21 to over 65.

The noted consumer champion Ralph Nader, himself a Fannie Mae investor, has spoken with our group. Financial blogs have started reposting our in-house blog posts. We have posted nearly 900 tweets.

All of this, investors, is because of you. You, who deserve to be treated better than a depositor in a piggy bank by your government. You, who are legally and contractually owed dividends realized through your investments. You. Investors Unite will keep fighting every day against wrong-headed legislative initiatives that would wipe you out. We will keep fighting to make sure your voice – the voice of the individual investor – is heard on Capitol Hill and that bureaucrats and elected officials are held accountable for their actions against you.