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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac 'Closed The Gap', Florida Screwed

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac successfully closed the gap, and another headline out of Florida. (Florida Report: SUBPRIME CRISIS from The Mess That Greenspan Made)

Florida's Pension Fund Holds Same `Suspect' Debt as Frozen Pool: “Florida's pension fund owns more than $1 billion of the same downgraded and defaulted debt that sparked a run on a state investment pool for local governments and forced officials to freeze withdrawals.

The State Board of Administration, manager of $37 billion in short-term assets, including the pool, also oversees the $138 billion Florida Retirement System. The board purchased $3.3 billion of debt whose top ratings were reduced following the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg News through an open records request.

Like the hundreds of school districts and towns unable to access $14 billion frozen in the Local Government Investment Pool, Florida's 1.1 million current and retired state workers rely on the board's management to boost returns on the funds that pay their pensions. That has left them vulnerable to the same potential for losses. A state-created home insurer and the treasury are also at risk.

“These were highly inappropriate investments for taxpayers' money,” said Joseph Mason, a finance professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia. “This is the tip of the iceberg for pension funds. We know the paper is sitting there. There are substantial subprime-related losses that haven't shown up yet.””

… and to think: This is only the BEGINNING.