Pershing Square Capital’s William Ackman is spearheading a push to keep some segments of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s business a private, for profit enterprise in a risky, counter-intuitive move. The move also pits Ackman against the Obama administration, which has moved to “wind down” the government sponsored enterprises’ business.
Pershing, Ackman’s $12 billion hedge fund, acquired a 9.98 percent stake in the common shares of Fannie Mae and a 9.77 percent stake in those of Freddie Mac last week. Now, Ackman hopes to begin talks with the government and shareholders to privatize the two GSEs, which began making a profit in 2012, despite needing a taxpayer bailout just two years earlier. [more]