Should You Believe Incompetent CEOs?

After leading the company’s stock price down 60% in a year, Freddie Mac‘s CEO, Richard Syron, is doing the rounds trying to prop up the stock with feel-good stories. He tried to reassure investors that the worst is in the past and that the future will be brighter than ever.

According to Forbes,

Syron reiterated previous expectations, saying the company expects revenue growth of 15 percent to 20 percent this year, but expects to see losses from bad mortgages rise to as much as $6 billion this year.

“Weakening housing prices and housing activity have led to a punishing deterioration of credit which has hurt our results, along with those of other market participants,” Syron said.

However, the company is well-suited to ride out the housing bust because the home loans that Freddie Mac holds or guarantees are far less risky than those held by other lenders, he said.

Forgive my skepticism, but isn’t this exactly what Countrywide’s CEO Angelo Mozillo said in the beginning of last year when he was dumping stock hand over fist while claiming that CFC would be taking market share from the other lenders that were going out of business.

Anyway, I think its a good omen – I shorted Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) today at the open. So far I’m pretty happy with the result. FNM was down ~8% and FRE was down ~2.5%. Like I said yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprized to see these stocks in the low single digits in a year. [Note: this is not a stock recommendation – always do your own due diligence]

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