Arlington Asset Investment/FBR Group's Losses

Arlington Asset Investment Corp., formerly Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, said it lost $268.5 million ($1.77) in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with a loss of $270.4 million ($1.77) in the last quarter of 2007. For the year ended Dec. 31, it posted a loss of $417.5 million ($2.76), compared with a loss of $658.6 million ($3.94) the previous year.

The Arlington firm said that it continued downsizing its portfolio of mortgage-backed securities and that it intended to revoke its status as a real estate investment trust as of Jan. 1, 2009.

The company also filed its 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission - under the name Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc. It said it will issue a press release when it starts trading under "AI" instead of "FBR."

In the year ended Dec. 31, the firm said, it extinguished about $65.8 million of long-term debt and disposed of about $1.6 billion in mortgage-backed securities. This year, though March 13, it extinguished $201.7 million more in long-term debt and disposed of $56.1 million more of MBS.

FBR/Arlington Asset Investment Corp. also said that as of Dec. 31, it had $254.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, down from $692.4 million the previous year. Of that amount, $207.8 million was held by affiliate FBR Capital Markets and its subsidiaries, so FBR can't use the money without the approval of a majority of FBR Capital Markets' disinterested directors.

The company also said that of its 579 employees as of Dec. 31, 468 were employed by FBR Capital Markets and its subsidiaries.

By Terri Rupar  |  March 16, 2009; 12:32 PM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , FBR
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A bit late to be changing your title as a real estate investment trust now, dont' you think.

China was the only country I know of that raised interest rates when the world began exploding 12 months ago. This reduced loan growth amidst rising inflation. This created a small contraction in China's housing sector. What has happened since is most amazing. The Chinese government cut its interest rate by 2 basis points. Loan growth has expanded over 100% and their economy seems to be shrugging off this recession better than most.

Perhaps something our good 'ol US of A should have done a few years ago when mortgages were being given out like candy.

Alexander Smith
Managing Director

Posted by: alexander1smith | March 16, 2009 4:05 PM

Perhaps what amazes me most is that these folks who worked with real estate investements day in and day out could not see the speculative bubble and its inevitable bursting. Most of us on the sideline knew it was coming, the only question was "when". Why did FBR not hedge adequately? Greed? Incompetence? It will be hard to trust them going forward.

Posted by: tgeo | March 16, 2009 4:17 PM

Management and the board have picked this carcass clean. I've never seen executives and board members compensated so richly for a company on the verge of going to zero. These guys are so arrogant they probably think they've done a good job.

Posted by: jginboca | March 16, 2009 8:42 PM

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