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A Gift Horse For Fannie & Freddie?
make equally bearish calls on Wachovia (nyse: WB - news - people ) and Wells Fargo.

At a recent $29, shares are down nearly 30% over the past three months. Freddie shares have fallen at a near-identical rate. With investors so skittish and mortgage performance continuing to deteriorate, is it possible that Fannie and Freddie will disappoint the drafters of the stimulus bill and make comparatively little use of their new power to purchase and package jumbo loans?

It's possible, and not necessarily a bad thing. James B. Lockhart, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, warned Congress on Feb. 7 that the change in jumbo loan limits would push the companies deeper into some of the riskiest real estate markets, including coastal areas of Florida, California and

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