(Bloomberg) -- Bruce Berkowitz, who runs the mutual-fund firm Fairholme Capital Management in Miami, sent a couple of scorching letters to the boards of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the other day, blasting their directors for failing to protect the rights of shareholders. And here's the funny part: The companies have been warning for years that they have absolutely no interest in protecting shareholders. Berkowitz is venting furiously anyway.
Fairholme is among the owners of Fannie and Freddie preferred stock that are suing the government-controlled mortgage-finance companies and their conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The plaintiffs claim that a 2012 change in the companies' bailout terms nullified certain rights of preferred shareholders, including the right to receive dividends, in what amounted to an unconstitutional seizure of assets. Fairholme, which urged the companies to retain their earnings rather than send them to the government, bought its stakes in the two companies last year.