Laboring Hard for Shareholder Rights

Guest Blog by Loyal Blair

The federal government illegally taking what belongs to the citizens of the United States is an extremely troubling development and one that everyone should be aware of. In 2012, the Treasury Department quietly put into effect a Third Amendment Sweep to “sweep up” the dividends legally and contractually owed to private investors of the mortgage-giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This was done as an extension of the conservatorship the government placed Fannie and Freddie into after the 2008 financial crisis.

There are currently two lawsuits pending against the federal government regarding its illegal takings against Fannie and Freddie shareholders.

AIG, the insurance company that also suffered enormous losses in the financial meltdown, is also involved in a lawsuit against the federal government. In that case, the former head of AIG was the largest shareholder in the company and is accusing the federal government of illegal takings under the Fifth Amendment.

I proudly served in the United States Navy, taking an oath to defend our Constitution, which includes a very special clause (in the Fifth Amendment) about preventing the government from “the taking of private property without just compensation.” The government’s actions against AIG certainly seems to fall under this.

But the case involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac investors is more personal, since I am one of those investors – in Fannie at least. So unlike what some media reports want people to think, this isn’t about anonymous hedge funds – it’s about regular, everyday people like me and like a 90-year-old widow who owns 36,000 shares that her late husband purchased many years ago and is a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits against the government. That may sound like a lot of shares, but to someone who’s counting on using their investments for retirement; those shares represent a very precious commodity.

“Grannie Fannie” has imparted to us her wisdom, and we should not take her wisdom lightly and permit this government taking of her property. If we allow the government to take Grannie Fannie’s retirement, along with military Veterans, such as myself, rest assured you will be next. It won’t stop with “just” Fannie, Freddie, and AIG, but will continue unabated with your stocks, your retirement and your bank accounts all becoming property of the US Treasury.

I implore everyone to write their congressional representatives and tell them to stop the illegal taking and make private shareholders whole. The 90-year-old widow, a man who wants to use his investments for his daughter’s college tuition, myself as a Navy veteran, and every other hard-working American who invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac deserve better than how we’re being treated by our government.

Loyal Blair is an Investors Unite member. Mr. Blair is a retired rancher and US Navy veteran from Colorado, now living in Dayton, Ohio.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Union Institute & University.  He has been an investor in FNMA and FMCC since July 2008, but has never invested in a hedge fund.