More trouble for REITs with woes in agency securities

03/12/2008 | U.S. News & World Report

Weakness in agency securities backed by government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could pull down another leg of the credit markets and fuel the ongoing economic slowdown. When Carlyle Group failed to meet margin calls, the ripple effect was felt by REITs that invest in agency securities, including Anworth Mortgage Asset, MFA Mortgage Investments, Annaly Capital Management, and Capstead Mortgage. "It's a systemic deleveraging where people have to put in more and more of their own money. As that happens, there are going to have to be assets sold," said Bose George, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

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