10-K 1 agnc10k123112.htm 10-K AGNC 10K 12/31/12


 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549 
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
ý
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the year ended December 31, 2012
OR
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number 001-34057
AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
26-1701984
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
2 Bethesda Metro Center, 14th Floor
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
(Address of principal executive offices)
(301) 968-9300
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange
on which registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share
The NASDAQ Global Select Market
8.000% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock
The NASDAQ Global Select Market
 
Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act: NONE
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes ý No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.    Yes   ¨   No   ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).   Yes  ý    No  ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.    ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer     ý                    Accelerated filer    ¨
     Non-accelerated filer   ¨ (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)    Smaller Reporting Company    ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).   Yes ¨  No ý 
As of June 30, 2012, the aggregate market value of the Registrant's common stock held by non-affiliates of the Registrant was approximately $10.2 billion based upon the closing price of the Registrant's common stock of $33.61 per share as reported on The NASDAQ Global Select Market on that date. (For this computation, the Registrant has excluded the market value of all shares of its common stock reported as beneficially owned by executive officers and directors of the Registrant and certain other stockholders; such an exclusion shall not be deemed to constitute an admission that any such person is an “affiliate” of the Registrant.)  
The number of shares of the issuer’s common stock, $0.01 par value, outstanding as of January 31, 2013 was 338,936,470.
 DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE. The Registrant's definitive proxy statement for the 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders is incorporated by reference into certain sections of Part III herein.  
Certain exhibits previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission are incorporated by reference into Part IV of this report.
 




AMERICAN CAPITAL AGENCY CORP.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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PART I.

Item 1. Business  
American Capital Agency Corp. (“AGNC”, the “Company”, “we”, “us” and “our”) was organized on January 7, 2008 and commenced operations on May 20, 2008 following the completion of our initial public offering (“IPO”). Our common stock is traded on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AGNC”.   We are externally managed by American Capital AGNC Management, LLC (our “Manager”), an affiliate of American Capital, Ltd. (“American Capital”).
We operate so as to qualify to be taxed as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Internal Revenue Code”). As such, we are required to distribute annually 90% of our taxable net income. As long as we qualify as a REIT, we will generally not be subject to U.S. federal or state corporate taxes on our taxable net income to the extent that we distribute all of our annual taxable net income to our stockholders. It is our intention to distribute 100% of our taxable income, after application of available tax attributes, within the limits prescribed by the Internal Revenue Code, which may extend into the subsequent taxable year.
We earn income primarily from investing on a leveraged basis in agency mortgage-backed securities. These investments consist of residential mortgage pass-through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations (“CMOs”) for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by government-sponsored entities, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”), or by a U.S. Government agency, such as the Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”) (collectively referred to as “GSEs”). We may also invest in agency debenture securities issued by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae or the Federal Home Loan Bank ("FHLB"). We refer to agency mortgage-backed securities and agency debenture securities collectively as "agency securities" and we refer to the specific investment securities in which we invest as our "investment portfolio".  
Our principal objective is to preserve our net book value (also referred to as "net asset value", "NAV" and "stockholders' equity") while generating attractive risk-adjusted returns for distribution to our stockholders through regular quarterly dividends from the combination of our net interest income and net realized gains and losses on our investments and hedging activities. We fund our investments primarily through short-term borrowings structured as repurchase agreements.
 Our Investment Strategy
Our investment strategy is designed to:
manage an investment portfolio consisting primarily of agency securities that seeks to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns; 
capitalize on discrepancies in the relative valuations in the agency securities market;  
manage financing, interest and prepayment rate risks;  
preserve our net book value;  
provide regular quarterly distributions to our stockholders;  
qualify as a REIT; and  
remain exempt from the requirements of the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “Investment Company Act”).
 Our Targeted Investments  
Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities
The agency mortgage-backed securities in which we invest consist of agency residential pass-through certificates and collateralized mortgage obligations:  
Agency Residential Pass-Through Certificates. Agency residential pass-through certificates are securities representing interests in “pools” of mortgage loans secured by residential real property where payments of both interest and principal, on the securities are guaranteed by a GSE or U.S. Government agency, and made monthly to holders of the securities, in effect “passing through” monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the mortgage loans that underlie the securities, net of fees paid to the issuer/guarantor and servicers of the securities. In general, mortgage pass-through certificates distribute cash flows from the underlying collateral on a pro rata basis among holders of the securities. Holders of the securities also receive guarantor advances of principal and interest for delinquent loans in the mortgage pools.  

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Agency Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. Agency CMOs are securities that are structured instruments representing interests in agency residential pass-through certificates. Agency CMOs consist of multiple classes of securities, with each class having specified characteristics, including stated maturity dates, weighted average lives and rules governing principal and interest distribution. Monthly payments of interest and principal, including prepayments, are typically returned to different classes based on rules described in the trust documents. Principal and interest payments may also be divided between holders of different securities in the agency CMO and some securities may only receive interest payments while others receive only principal payments.
The agency mortgage-backed securities that we acquire provide funds for mortgage loans made to residential homeowners. These securities generally represent interests in pools of mortgage loans made by savings and loan institutions, mortgage bankers, commercial banks and other mortgage lenders. These pools of mortgage loans are assembled for sale to investors, such as us, by various government-related or private organizations.  
Agency mortgage-backed securities differ from other forms of traditional debt securities, which normally provide for periodic payments of interest in fixed amounts with principal payments at maturity or on specified call dates. Instead, agency mortgage-backed securities provide for a monthly payment, which may consist of both interest and principal. In effect, these payments are a “pass-through” of the monthly interest and principal payments made by the individual borrower on the mortgage loans, net of any fees paid to the issuer, servicer or guarantor of the securities. In addition, principal may be prepaid, without penalty, at par at any time due to prepayments on the underlying mortgage loans. These differences can result in significantly greater price and yield volatility than is the case with traditional fixed-income securities.  
Various factors affect the rate at which mortgage prepayments occur, including changes in the level of and directional trends in housing prices, interest rates, general economic conditions, loan age and size, loan-to-value ratio, the location of the property and social and demographic conditions. Additionally, changes to GSE underwriting practices or other governmental programs could also significantly impact prepayment rates or expectations. Also, the pace at which the loans underlying our securities become seriously delinquent or are modified and the timing of GSE repurchases of such loans from our securities can materially impact the rate of prepayments. Generally, prepayments on agency mortgage-backed securities increase during periods of falling mortgage interest rates and decrease during periods of rising mortgage interest rates. However, this may not always be the case. We may reinvest principal repayments at a yield that is lower or higher than the yield on the repaid investment, thus affecting our net interest income by altering the average yield on our assets.
 When interest rates are declining, the value of agency mortgage-backed securities with prepayment options may not increase as much as other fixed income securities or could even decrease. The rate of prepayments on underlying mortgages affect the price and volatility of agency mortgage-backed securities and may have the effect of shortening or extending the duration of the security beyond what was anticipated at the time of purchase. When interest rates rise, our holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities may experience reduced returns if the owners of the underlying mortgages pay off their mortgages slower than anticipated. This could cause the prices of our mortgage assets to fall more than we anticipated and for our hedge portfolio to underperform relative to the decline in the value of our mortgage assets, thus reducing our net book value. This is generally referred to as “extension risk”.  
Payments of principal and interest on agency mortgage-backed securities, although not the market value of the securities themselves, are guaranteed either by the full faith and credit of the United States, such as those issued by Ginnie Mae, or by a GSE, such as those issued by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  
Agency mortgage-backed securities are collateralized by pools of fixed-rate mortgage loans or adjustable-rate mortgage loans (“ARMs”), including hybrid ARMs. Hybrid ARMs are mortgage loans that have interest rates that are fixed for an initial period (typically three, five, seven or 10 years) and, thereafter, reset at regular intervals subject to interest rate caps. Our allocation of investments among securities collateralized by fixed-rate mortgage loans, ARMs or hybrid ARMs depends on our Manager's assessment of the relative value of the securities, which is based on numerous factors including, but not limited to, expected future prepayment trends, supply and demand, costs of financing, costs of hedging, expected future interest rate volatility and the overall shape of the U.S. Treasury and interest rate swap yield curves.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
We primarily invest in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agency mortgage-backed securities. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are stockholder-owned corporations chartered by Congress with a public mission to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are currently regulated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“U.S. Treasury”), and are currently operating under the conservatorship of FHFA. The U.S. Treasury has agreed to support the continuing operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with any necessary capital contributions

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while in conservatorship. However, the U.S. government does not guarantee the securities, or other obligations, of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operate in the secondary mortgage market. They purchase residential mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities from primary mortgage market institutions, such as commercial banks, savings and loan associations, mortgage banking companies, seller/servicers, securities dealers and other investors. Through the mortgage securitization process, they package the purchased mortgage loans into guaranteed mortgage-backed securities for sale to investors, such as us, in the form of pass-through certificates and guarantee the payment of principal and interest on the securities or, on the underlying loans held within the securitization trust, in exchange for guarantee fees. The underlying loans must meet certain underwriting standards established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (referred to as “conforming loans”) and may be fixed or adjustable rate loans with original terms to maturity generally up to 40 years.
Ginnie Mae:
Ginnie Mae is a wholly-owned corporate instrumentality of the United States within HUD. Ginnie Mae guarantees the timely payment of the principal of and interest on certificates that represent an interest in a pool of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, or partially guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and other loans eligible for inclusion in mortgage pools underlying Ginnie Mae certificates. Section 306(g) of the Housing Act provides that the full faith and credit of the United States is pledged to the payment of all amounts which may be required to be paid under any guaranty by Ginnie Mae.  At present, most Ginnie Mae certificates are backed by single-family mortgage loans.
Agency Debenture Securities
We may also invest in agency debenture securities issued by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae or the FHLB, a GSE. The agency debentures in which we may invest are not backed by collateral, but by the credit worthiness of the issuing GSE.  
Investment Methods  
We purchase agency securities either in initial offerings or on the secondary market through broker-dealers or similar entities. We may also utilize to-be-announced forward contracts ("TBA securities") in order to invest in agency mortgage-backed securities or to hedge our investments. A TBA security is a forward contract for the purchase or the sale of agency securities at a predetermined price, face amount, issuer, coupon and stated maturity on an agreed-upon future date, but the particular agency securities to be delivered are not identified until shortly before the TBA settlement date. We may also choose, prior to settlement, to move the settlement of these securities out to a later date by entering into an offsetting position (referred to as a "pair off"), net settling the paired off positions for cash, and simultaneously entering into a similar TBA contract for a later settlement date, which is commonly collectively referred to as a “dollar roll” transaction.
 Our Active Portfolio Management Strategy  
Our Manager employs on our behalf an active management strategy to achieve our principal objectives of generating attractive risk-adjusted returns and preservation of our net book value. Our active management strategy involves buying and selling securities in all sectors of the agency securities market, including fixed-rate agency securities, adjustable-rate agency securities, options on agency securities, agency CMOs and agency debenture securities based on our Manager's continual assessment of the relative value and risk and return of these securities and ability to economically hedge a portion of our exposure to market risks. Therefore, the composition of our portfolio and hedging strategies will vary as our Manager believes changes to market conditions, risks and valuations warrant. Consequently, we may experience investment gains or losses when we sell securities that our Manager no longer believes provide attractive risk-adjusted returns or when our Manager believes more attractive alternatives are available in the agency securities market. We may also experience gains or losses as a result of our hedging strategies. Our leverage may also fluctuate as we pursue our active management strategy, but we generally would expect our leverage to be six to eleven times our stockholders' equity.
 Investment Committee and Investment Guidelines
 The investment committee established by our Manager consists of Messrs. Malon Wilkus, John R. Erickson, Samuel A. Flax and Thomas A. McHale, each of whom is an officer of our Manager. The role of the investment committee is to monitor the performance of our Manager with respect to our investment guidelines and investment strategy, to monitor our investment portfolio and to monitor our compliance requirements related to our intention to qualify as a REIT and to remain exempt from registration as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. The investment committee meets as frequently as it believes is required to maintain prudent oversight of our investment activities. Our Board of Directors receives an investment report and reviews our investment portfolio and related compliance with the investment guidelines on at least a quarterly basis. Our Board

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of Directors does not review or approve individual investments, but receives notification in the event that we operate outside of our operating policies or investment guidelines. 
Our Board of Directors has approved the following investment guidelines:  
all of our investments shall be in agency securities (other than for hedging purposes and investments in approved broker-dealers);
no investment shall be made that would cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes;  
no investment shall be made that would cause us to be regulated as an investment company under the Investment Company Act; and  
prior to entering into any proposed investment transaction with American Capital or any of its affiliates, a majority of our independent directors must approve the terms of the transaction.  
The investment committee may change these investment guidelines at any time, including a change that would permit us to invest in other mortgage related investments, with the approval of our Board of Directors, (which must include a majority of our independent directors), but without any approval from our stockholders.
 Our Financing Strategy
 As part of our investment strategy, we leverage our investment portfolio to increase potential returns to our stockholders. Our primary source of financing is through short-term repurchase agreements. A repurchase transaction acts as a financing arrangement under which we effectively pledge our investment securities as collateral to secure a short-term loan. Our borrowings pursuant to these repurchase transactions generally have maturities that range from 30 days to one year, but may have maturities of fewer than 30 days or up to five or more years. Under our repurchase agreements we typically pay a floating rate based on the one, three or six month London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, plus or minus a fixed spread.
Our leverage may vary periodically depending on market conditions and our Manager's assessment of risk and returns. We generally would expect our leverage to be within six to eleven times the amount of our stockholders' equity. However, under certain market conditions, we may operate at leverage levels outside of this range for extended periods of time. We also cannot assure you that we will continue to be successful in borrowing sufficient amounts to fund our intended acquisitions of agency securities.  
We have master repurchase agreements with 32 financial institutions as of December 31, 2012. The terms of the repurchase transaction borrowings under our master repurchase agreements generally conform to the terms in the standard master repurchase agreement as published by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ("SIFMA") as to repayment, margin requirements and the segregation of all securities we have initially sold under the repurchase transaction. In addition, each lender typically requires that we include supplemental terms and conditions to the standard master repurchase agreement. Typical supplemental terms and conditions include changes to the margin maintenance requirements, required haircuts, purchase price maintenance requirements, requirements that all controversies related to the repurchase agreement be litigated in a particular jurisdiction and cross default provisions. These provisions differ for each of our lenders and certain of these terms are not determined until we engage in a specific repurchase transaction.  
We may also seek to obtain other sources of financing depending on market conditions. We may finance the acquisition of agency mortgage-backed securities by entering into TBA dollar roll transactions in which we would sell a TBA contract for current month settlement and simultaneously purchase a similar, but not identical, TBA contract for a forward settlement date. Prior to the forward settlement date, we may choose to roll the position out to a later date by entering into an offsetting TBA position, net settling the paired off positions for cash, and simultaneously entering into a similar TBA contract for a later settlement date. In such transactions, the TBA contract purchased for a forward settlement date is priced at a discount to the TBA contract sold for settlement/pair off in the current month. This difference (or discount) is referred to as the “price drop”. The price drop is the economic equivalent of net interest carry income on the underlying agency mortgage-backed securities over the roll period (interest income less implied financing cost) and is commonly referred to as "dollar roll income." Consequently, dollar roll transactions represent a form of off-balance sheet financing. In evaluating our overall leverage at risk, our Manager considers both our on-balance and off-balance sheet financing.
Our Risk Management Strategy  
We use a variety of strategies to economically hedge a portion of our exposure to market risks, including interest rate and prepayment risk, to the extent that our Manager believes is prudent, taking into account our investment strategy, the cost of the hedging transactions and our intention to qualify as a REIT. As a result, we may not hedge certain interest rate or prepayment

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risks if our Manager believes that bearing such risks enhances our return relative to our risk/return profile, or the hedging transaction would negatively impact our REIT status.
Interest Rate Risk. We hedge some of our exposure to potential interest rate mismatches between the interest we earn on our longer term investments and the costs on our shorter term borrowings. Because a majority of our leverage is in the form of repurchase agreements, our financing costs fluctuate based on short-term interest rate indices, such as LIBOR. Because our investments are assets that primarily have fixed rates of interest and could mature in up to 40 years, the interest we earn on those assets generally does not move in tandem with the interest rates that we pay on our repurchase agreements. We may experience reduced income or losses based on these rate movements. In order to mitigate such risk, we utilize certain hedging techniques to effectively lock in a portion of the spread between the interest we earn on our assets and the interest we pay on our financing costs.
Prepayment Risk. Because residential borrowers are able to prepay their mortgage loans at par at any time, we face the risk that we will experience a return of principal on our investments earlier than anticipated, and we may have to invest that principal at potentially lower yields. Because prepayments on residential mortgages generally accelerate when interest rates decrease and slow when interest rates increase, mortgage securities typically have "negative convexity." In other words, certain mortgage securities in which we invest may increase in price more slowly than most bonds, or even fall in value, as interest rates decline. Conversely, certain mortgage securities in which we invest may decrease in value more quickly than similar duration bonds as interest rates increase. In order to manage our prepayment and interest rate risks, we monitor, among other things, our "duration gap" and our convexity exposure. Duration is the relative expected percentage change in market value of our assets that would be caused by a parallel change in short and long-term interest rates. Convexity exposure relates to the way the duration of a mortgage security changes when the interest rate and prepayment environment changes.
The principal instruments that we use to hedge a portion of our exposure to interest rate and prepayment risks are interest rate swaps and options to enter into interest rate swaps (“interest rate swaptions”). We also purchase or sell TBAs, specified agency securities on a forward basis, U.S. Treasury securities and U.S. Treasury futures contracts; purchase or write put or call options on TBA securities; and invest in other types of mortgage derivatives, such as interest-only securities, and synthetic total return swaps, such as the Markit IOS Synthetic Total Return Swap Index (“Markit IOS Index”).
The risk management actions we take may lower our earnings and dividends in the short term to further our objective of maintaining attractive levels of earnings and dividends over the long term. However, there can be no certainty that our Manager's projections of our exposures to interest rates, prepayments or other risks will be accurate or that our hedging activities will be effective and, therefore, actual results could differ materially.
Income from hedging transactions that we enter into to manage risk may not constitute qualifying gross income under one or both of the gross income tests applicable to REITs. Therefore, we may have to limit our use of certain advantageous hedging techniques, which could expose us to greater risks than we would otherwise want to bear, or implement those hedges through a taxable REIT subsidiary ("TRS"). Implementing our hedges through a TRS could increase the cost of our hedging activities because a TRS is subject to tax on income and gains.
Other Investment Strategies  
We may enter into other short or long term investment strategies as the opportunities arise.  
Our Manager  
We are externally managed and advised by our Manager pursuant to the terms of a management agreement. Our Manager is an indirect subsidiary of American Capital Asset Management, LLC, which is a portfolio company of American Capital, Ltd., a publicly-traded private equity firm and global asset manager (NASDAQ: ACAS). American Capital, both directly and through its asset management business, originates, underwrites and manages investments in private equity, leveraged finance, real estate and structured products. Founded in 1986, American Capital had $117 billion in assets under management and eight offices in the United States and Europe as of December 31, 2012.
The sister company of our Manager is the external manager of American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: MTGE) ("MTGE"), a publicly-traded REIT that invests in agency mortgage investments, non-agency mortgage investments and other mortgage related investments. In connection with our initial public offering, American Capital committed not to sponsor another investment vehicle that invests predominantly in agency securities that represent undivided beneficial interests in a group or pool of one or more mortgages, or whole-pool agency securities, for so long as we are managed by an affiliate of American Capital. Thus, MTGE's investment portfolio is expected to consist of assets that are not predominantly whole-pool agency securities for so long as we are managed by an affiliate of American Capital. 

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Our Manager is responsible for administering our business activities and day-to-day operations, subject to the supervision and oversight of our Board of Directors. All of our officers and the members of our mortgage investment team and other support personnel are employees of either the parent company of our Manager or American Capital. Because neither we nor our Manager have any employees, our Manager has entered into an administrative services agreement with American Capital and the parent company of our Manager, pursuant to which our Manager has access to their employees, infrastructure, business relationships, management expertise, information technologies, capital raising capabilities, legal and compliance functions, and accounting, treasury and investor relations capabilities, to enable our Manager to fulfill all of its responsibilities under the management agreement. We are not a party to the administrative services agreement.
Malon Wilkus is our Chair and Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Executive Officer of our Manager and its parent company, American Capital Mortgage Management, LLC. Mr. Wilkus is also the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of MTGE and the Chief Executive Officer of its manager, American Capital MTGE Management, LLC. In addition, Mr. Wilkus is the founder of American Capital, and has served as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors since 1986, except for the period from 1997 to 1998 during which he served as Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also served as President of American Capital from 2001 to 2008 and from 1986 to 1999. Mr. Wilkus has also been the Chairman of European Capital Limited, a European private equity and mezzanine fund, since its formation in 2005. Additionally, Mr. Wilkus is the Chief Executive Officer and President of American Capital Asset Management, LLC, which is the asset fund management portfolio company of American Capital. He has also served on the board of directors of over a dozen middle-market companies in various industries.
Gary Kain is the President of our Manager and also serves as our President and Chief Investment Officer, with primary oversight for all of our investments. He is also the President and Chief Investment Officer of MTGE and the President of its manager. Mr. Kain joined American Capital in January 2009 as a Senior Vice President and Managing Director and has served in various other roles with American Capital and its affiliates. Prior to joining American Capital, Mr. Kain served as Senior Vice President of Investments and Capital Markets of Freddie Mac from May 2008 to January 2009. Since joining Freddie Mac in 1988, Mr. Kain served as Senior Vice President of Mortgage Investments & Structuring of Freddie Mac from February 2005 to April 2008, during which time he was responsible for managing all of Freddie Mac's mortgage investment activities for its $700 billion retained portfolio. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Kain served as Vice President of Mortgage Portfolio Strategy at Freddie Mac.

John R. Erickson is our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and a member of our Board of Directors, and Executive Vice President and Treasurer of our Manager and American Capital Mortgage Management, LLC. Mr. Erickson is also the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and a member of the board of directors of MTGE and the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of its manager, American Capital MTGE Management, LLC. In addition, he is the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of American Capital Asset Management, LLC. Mr. Erickson has also served as President, Structured Finance of American Capital since 2008 and as its Chief Financial Officer since 1998. From 1991 to 1998, Mr. Erickson was the Chief Financial Officer of Storage USA, Inc., a REIT formerly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SUS).

Samuel A. Flax is our Executive Vice President and Secretary and a member of our Board of Directors, and Executive Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary of our Manager and American Capital Mortgage Management, LLC. Mr. Flax is also Executive Vice President and Secretary and a member of the board of directors of MTGE and the Executive Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary of its manager, American Capital MTGE Management, LLC. In addition, he is the Executive Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary of American Capital Asset Management, LLC. Mr. Flax has also served as the Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary of American Capital, Ltd. since January 2005. Mr. Flax was a partner in the corporate and securities practice group of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP from 1990 to January 2005. At Arnold & Porter LLP, he represented American Capital in raising debt and equity capital, advised the company on corporate, securities and other legal matters and represented the company in many of its investment transactions.
Peter J. Federico is the Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of our Manager and also serves as our Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. He is also the Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of affiliates of our Manager and of MTGE. He is primarily responsible for overseeing risk management activities for us and other funds managed by affiliates of our Manager. Mr. Federico joined our Manager in May 2011. Prior to that, Mr. Federico served as Executive Vice President and Treasurer of Freddie Mac from October 2010 through May 2011, where he was primarily responsible for managing the company's investment activities for its retained portfolio and developing, implementing and managing risk mitigation strategies. He was also responsible for managing Freddie Mac's $1.2 trillion interest rate derivative portfolio and short and long-term debt issuance programs. Mr. Federico also served in a number of other capacities at Freddie Mac, including as Senior Vice President, Asset & Liability Management, after he joined the company in 1988.
Christopher J. Kuehl is a Senior Vice President of our Manager and also serves as our Senior Vice President of Mortgage Investments. He is also the Senior Vice President of Mortgage Investments of affiliates of our Manager and of MTGE. He is

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primarily responsible for directing purchases and sales of agency securities for us and other funds managed by affiliates of our Manager. Mr. Kuehl joined American Capital in August 2010. Prior to that, Mr. Kuehl served as Vice President of Mortgage Investments & Structuring of Freddie Mac, where he was primarily responsible for directing Freddie Mac's purchases, sales and structuring activities for all MBS products, including fixed-rate mortgages, ARMs and CMOs. Prior to joining Freddie Mac in 2000, Mr. Kuehl was a Portfolio Manager with TeleBanc/Etrade Bank.
The Management Agreement  
We have entered into a management agreement with our Manager with a current renewal term through May 20, 2013, and automatic one-year extension options thereafter. The management agreement may only be terminated by either us or our Manager without cause, as defined in the management agreement, after the completion of the current renewal term, or the expiration of any automatic subsequent renewal term, provided that either party provides 180-days prior written notice of non-renewal of the management agreement. If we were not to renew the management agreement without cause, we must pay a termination fee on the last day of the applicable term, equal to three times the average annual management fee earned by our Manager during the prior 24-month period immediately preceding the most recently completed month prior to the effective date of termination. We may only not renew the management agreement with or without cause with the consent of a majority of our independent directors. Our Manager is responsible for, among other things, performing all of our day-to-day functions, determining investment criteria in conjunction with our Board of Directors, sourcing, analyzing and executing investments, asset sales and financings and performing asset management duties.  
We pay our Manager a base management fee payable monthly in arrears in an amount equal to one twelfth of 1.25% of our Equity. Our Equity is defined as our month-end stockholders' equity, adjusted to exclude the effect of any unrealized gains or losses included in either retained earnings or accumulated other comprehensive income (“OCI”) (a separate component of stockholders' equity), each as computed in accordance with GAAP. There is no incentive compensation payable to our Manager pursuant to the management agreement.  
In addition, we reimburse our Manager for expenses directly related to our operations incurred by our Manager, but excluding employment-related expenses of our Manager's officers and employees and any American Capital employees who provide services to us pursuant to the management agreement.
Exemption from Regulation under the Investment Company Act  
We conduct our business so as not to become regulated as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, in reliance on the exemption provided by Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act. Section 3(c)(5)(C), as interpreted by the staff of the SEC, requires us to invest at least 55% of our assets in "mortgages and other liens on and interest in real estate" or "qualifying real estate interests" and at least 80% of our assets in qualifying real estate interests and "real estate-related assets." In satisfying this 55% requirement, based on pronouncements of the SEC staff, we treat agency mortgage-backed securities issued with respect to an underlying pool of mortgage loans in which we hold all of the certificates issued by the pool ("whole pool" securities) as qualifying real estate interests. We currently treat agency mortgage-backed securities in which we hold less than all of the certificates issued by the pool ("partial pool" securities) as real estate-related assets. We treat CMO securities as real-estate related assets. We treat agency debenture securities as non-qualifying real estate assets. 
Real Estate Investment Trust Requirements
 We have elected to be taxed as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code. As long as we qualify as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to federal income taxes on our taxable income to the extent that we annually distribute all of our taxable income to stockholders. We believe that we have been organized and operate in such a manner as to qualify for taxation as a REIT.  
Qualification and taxation as a REIT depends on our ability to meet on a continuing basis various qualification requirements imposed upon REITs by the Internal Revenue Code. Our ability to qualify as a REIT also requires that we satisfy certain asset tests, some of which depend upon the fair market values of assets that we own directly or indirectly. Such values may not be susceptible to precise determination. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the actual results of our operations for any taxable year will satisfy such requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.  
Taxation of REITs in General  
Provided that we continue to qualify as a REIT, we will generally be entitled to a deduction for dividends that we pay and therefore will not be subject to federal corporate income tax on our taxable income that is currently distributed to our stockholders. This treatment substantially eliminates the “double taxation” at the corporate and stockholder levels that generally results from investment in a corporation. In general, the income that we generate is taxed only at the stockholder level upon a distribution of dividends to our stockholders.  

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As a REIT, we will nonetheless be subject to federal tax under certain circumstances including the following:  
We will be taxed at regular corporate rates on any undistributed taxable income, including undistributed net capital gains.
We may be subject to the “alternative minimum tax” on our items of tax preference, including any deductions of net operating losses.  
If we have net income from prohibited transactions, which are, in general, sales or other dispositions of inventory or property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property, such income will be subject to a 100% tax.  
If we should fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, as discussed below, but nonetheless maintain our qualification as a REIT because we satisfy other requirements, we will be subject to a 100% tax on an amount based on the magnitude of the failure, as adjusted to reflect the profit margin associated with our gross income. 
If we should violate the asset tests (other than certain de minimis violations) or other requirements applicable to REITs, as described below, and yet maintain our qualification as a REIT because there is reasonable cause for the failure and other applicable requirements are met, we may be subject to a penalty tax. In that case, the amount of the penalty tax will be at least $50,000 per failure, and, in the case of certain asset test failures, will be determined as the amount of net income generated by the assets in question multiplied by the highest corporate tax rate (currently 35%) if that amount exceeds $50,000 per failure.  
If we should fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (a) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year, (b) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year, and (c) any undistributed taxable income from prior periods, we would be subject to a nondeductible 4% excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the sum of (i) the amounts that we actually distributed and (ii) the amounts we retained and upon which we paid income tax at the corporate level.
We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet record keeping requirements intended to monitor our compliance with rules relating to the composition of a REIT's stockholders, as described below in “Requirements for Qualification-General.”  
A 100% tax may be imposed on transactions between us and our TRSs (as described below), that do not reflect arm's-length terms.  
If we acquire appreciated assets from a corporation that is not a REIT (i.e., a corporation taxable under subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code) in a transaction in which the adjusted tax basis of the assets in our hands is determined by reference to the adjusted tax basis of the assets in the hands of the subchapter C corporation, we may be subject to tax on such appreciation at the highest corporate income tax rate then applicable if we subsequently recognize a gain on a disposition of any such assets during the ten-year period following their acquisition from the subchapter C corporation.  
The earnings of our subsidiaries, including our TRSs, are subject to federal corporate income tax to the extent that such subsidiaries are subchapter C corporations and not qualified REIT subsidiaries ("QRS"). 
Requirements for Qualification-General  
The Internal Revenue Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:  
(1)
that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;  
(2)
the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares, or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;  
(3)
that would be taxable as a domestic corporation but for its election to be subject to tax as a REIT;  
(4)
that is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to specific provisions of the Internal Revenue Code;  
(5)
the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons;  

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(6)
in which, during the last half of each taxable year, not more than 50% in value of the outstanding stock is owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer “individuals” (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code to include specified tax-exempt entities); and  
(7)
which meets other tests described below, including with respect to the nature of its income and assets.  
The Internal Revenue Code provides that conditions (1) through (4) must be met during the entire taxable year, and that condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months. Our amended and restated articles of incorporation provides restrictions regarding the ownership and transfers of our stock, which are intended to assist us in satisfying the stock ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above.  
To monitor compliance with the stock ownership requirements, we generally are required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our stock. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of our stock pursuant to which the record holders must disclose the actual owners of the stock (i.e., the persons required to include our dividends in their gross income). We must maintain a list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand as part of our records. We could be subject to monetary penalties if we fail to comply with these record-keeping requirements. If a stockholder fails or refuses to comply with the demands, the stockholder will be required by Treasury regulations to submit a statement with their tax return disclosing their actual ownership of our stock and other information.  
The Internal Revenue Code provides relief from violations of the REIT gross income requirements, as described below under “Income Tests,” in cases where a violation is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, and other requirements are met, including the payment of a penalty tax that is based upon the magnitude of the violation. In addition, certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code extend similar relief in the case of certain violations of the REIT asset requirements (see “Asset Tests” below) and other REIT requirements, again provided that the violation is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect and other conditions are met, including the payment of a penalty tax. If we fail to satisfy any of the various REIT requirements, there can be no assurance that these relief provisions would be available to enable us to maintain our qualification as a REIT, and, if such relief provisions are available, the amount of any resultant penalty tax could be substantial.  
Effect of Taxable Subsidiaries  
In general, we may jointly elect with a subsidiary corporation, whether or not wholly-owned, to treat such subsidiary corporation as a taxable REIT subsidiary. We generally may not own more than 10% of the securities of a taxable corporation, as measured by voting power or value, unless we and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a taxable REIT subsidiary. The separate existence of a taxable REIT subsidiary or other taxable corporation is not ignored for federal income tax purposes. Accordingly, such entities generally are subject to corporate income tax on their earnings, which may reduce the cash flow that we and our subsidiaries generate in the aggregate, and may reduce our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.  
For determining compliance with the "Income Tests" and "Asset Tests" applicable to REITs described below, the gross income and assets of TRSs and other taxable subsidiaries are excluded. Instead, actual dividends paid to the REIT from such taxable subsidiaries, if any, are included in the REIT's gross income tests and the value of the REIT's net investment in such entities is included in the gross asset tests. Because the gross income and assets of a TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporations are excluded in determining compliance with the REIT requirements, we may use such entities to undertake indirectly activities that the REIT rules might otherwise preclude us from doing directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. For example, we may use our TRS or other taxable subsidiary corporations to conduct activities that give rise to certain categories of income or to conduct activities that, if conducted by us directly, could be treated in our hands as non-real estate related or prohibited transactions.
We jointly elected to treat our wholly-owned subsidiary, American Capital Agency TRS, LLC as a TRS.
The TRS rules limit the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to its parent REIT to assure that the TRS is subject to an appropriate level of corporate taxation. Further, the rules impose a 100% excise tax on transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT that are not conducted on an arm's-length basis. We intend that all of our transactions with our TRSs will be conducted on an arm's-length basis.
 Qualified REIT Subsidiaries
A qualified REIT subsidiary (or "QRS") is any corporation in which we own 100% of such corporation's outstanding stock and for which no election has been made to classify it as a taxable REIT subsidiary. As such, their assets, liabilities and income would generally be treated as our assets, liabilities and income for purposes of each of the below REIT qualification tests. We currently do not have a QRS.


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Income Tests  
In order to continue to qualify as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income requirements on an annual basis.
1.
At least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year, excluding gross income from sales of inventory or dealer property in “prohibited transactions” and certain hedging transactions, generally must be derived from investments relating to real property or mortgages on real property, including interest income derived from mortgage loans secured by real property (including, generally, agency mortgage-backed securities and certain other types of mortgage-backed securities), “rents from real property,” dividends received from other REITs, and gains from the sale of real estate assets, as well as specified income from temporary investments.
2.
At least 95% of our gross income in each taxable year, excluding gross income from prohibited transactions and certain hedging transactions, must be derived from some combination of income that qualifies under the 75% gross income test described above, as well as other dividends, interest, and gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities, which need not have any relation to real property.
Interest income constitutes qualifying mortgage interest for purposes of the 75% gross income test described above to the extent that the obligation upon which such interest is paid is secured by a mortgage on real property. If we receive interest income with respect to a mortgage loan that is secured by both real property and other property, and the highest principal amount of the loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property on the date that we acquired or originated the mortgage loan, the interest income will be apportioned between the real property and the other collateral, and our income from the arrangement will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test only to the extent that the interest is allocable to the real property. Even if a loan is not secured by real property, or is under secured, the income that it generates may nonetheless qualify for purposes of the 95% gross income test.  
We treat our investments in agency mortgage-backed securities either as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a real estate mortgage investment conduit (“REMIC”) for federal income tax purposes and, therefore, treat all interest income from our agency mortgage-backed securities as qualifying income for the 95% gross income test. In the case of agency mortgage-backed securities treated as interests in grantor trusts, we treat these as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. Such mortgage loans generally qualify as real estate assets to the extent that they are secured by real property. The interest on such mortgage loans are qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by real property, as discussed above. In the case of agency mortgage-backed securities treated as interests in a REMIC, income derived from REMIC interests is generally treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income tests. If less than 95% of the assets of the REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest qualifies for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include embedded interest rate swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income for the holder of the related REMIC securities. We expect that substantially all of our income from agency mortgage-backed securities will continue to be qualifying income for purposes of the REIT gross income tests.  
We purchase and sell agency mortgage-backed securities through TBA contracts and recognize income or gains from the disposition of those TBAs, through dollar roll transactions or otherwise, and may continue to do so in the future. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of income or gains from dispositions of TBAs as gains from the sale of real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property) or other qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we treat income and gains from our TBAs as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, based on an opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP substantially to the effect that, for purposes of the 75% REIT gross income test, any gain recognized by us in connection with the settlement of our TBAs should be treated as gain from the sale or disposition of the underlying agency securities. Opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not successfully challenge the conclusions set forth in such opinions. In addition, it must be emphasized that the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our TBAs and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our TBAs. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert that such income is not qualifying income. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to qualify as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from the disposition of TBAs.
We may directly or indirectly receive distributions from our TRSs or other corporations that are not REITs or qualified REIT subsidiaries. These distributions generally are treated as dividend income to the extent of the earnings and profits of the distributing corporation. Such distributions will generally constitute qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not for purposes of the 75% gross income test. Any dividends that we receive from a REIT, however, will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 95% and 75% gross income tests.  

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Any income or gain that we derive from instruments that hedge the risk of changes in interest rates will generally be excluded from both the numerator and the denominator for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income test, provided that specified requirements are met, including the requirement that the instrument is entered into during the ordinary course of our business, the instrument hedges risks associated with indebtedness issued by us that is incurred to acquire or carry “real estate assets” (as described below under “Asset Tests”), and the instrument is properly identified as a hedge along with the risk that it hedges within prescribed time periods. Income and gain from all other hedging transactions will not be qualifying income for either the 95% or 75% gross income test.
Under The Housing and Economic Recovery Tax Act of 2008, the Secretary of the Treasury has been given broad authority to determine whether particular items of gain or income recognized after July 30, 2008 qualify or not under the 75% and 95% gross income tests, or are to be excluded from the measure of gross income for such purposes.
If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% or 95% gross income tests for any taxable year we may still qualify as a REIT for such year if we are entitled to relief under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. These relief provisions will be generally available if (1) our failure to meet these tests was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect and (2) following our identification of the failure to meet the 75% or 95% gross income test for any taxable year, we file a schedule with the IRS setting forth each item of our gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income test for such taxable year in accordance with Treasury regulations yet to be issued. It is not possible to state whether we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions in all circumstances. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances, we will not qualify as a REIT. As discussed above under “Taxation of REITs in General,” even where these relief provisions apply, the Internal Revenue Code imposes a tax based upon the amount by which we fail to satisfy the particular gross income test.  
Asset Tests  
At the close of each calendar quarter, we must also satisfy four tests relating to the nature of our assets.
1.
At least 75% of the value of our total assets must be represented by some combination of “real estate assets,” cash, cash items, U.S. Government securities, and, under some circumstances, stock or debt instruments purchased with new capital. For this purpose, real estate assets include some kinds of mortgage-backed securities and mortgage loans, as well as interests in real property and stock of other corporations that qualify as REITs. Assets that do not qualify for purposes of the 75% asset test are subject to the additional asset tests described below.
2.
The value of any one issuer's securities that we own may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets.
3.
We may not own more than 10% of any one issuer's outstanding securities, as measured by either voting power or value. The 5% and 10% asset tests do not apply to securities of TRSs and qualified REIT subsidiaries and the 10% asset test does not apply to “straight debt” having specified characteristics and to certain other securities.
4.
The aggregate value of all securities of all TRSs that we hold may not exceed 25% of the value of our total assets.  
We enter into sale and repurchase agreements under which we nominally sell certain of our investment securities to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase the sold assets in exchange for a purchase price that reflects a financing charge. We believe that we would be treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the collateral that is the subject of any such agreement notwithstanding that such agreement may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own such collateral during the term of the sale and repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.
 As discussed above, we purchase and sell agency mortgage-backed securities through TBAs and may continue to do so in the future. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of TBAs as real estate assets or U.S. Government securities for purposes of the 75% asset test, we treat our TBAs as qualifying assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests, based on an opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP substantially to the effect that, for purposes of the REIT asset tests, our ownership of a TBA should be treated as ownership of the underlying agency mortgage-backed securities. Opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not successfully challenge the conclusions set forth in such opinions. In addition, it must be emphasized that the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our TBAs and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our TBAs. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert that such assets are not qualifying assets. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to qualify as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs. 
No independent appraisals have been obtained to support our conclusions as to the value of our total assets or the value of any particular security or securities. Moreover, values of some assets, including instruments issued in securitization transactions,

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may not be susceptible to a precise determination, and values are subject to change in the future. Furthermore, the proper classification of an instrument as debt or equity for federal income tax purposes may be uncertain in some circumstances, which could affect the application of the REIT asset requirements. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not contend that our interests in our subsidiaries or in the securities of other issuers will not cause a violation of the REIT asset tests.
If we should fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a calendar quarter, such a failure would not cause us to lose our REIT qualification if we (1) satisfied the asset tests at the close of the preceding calendar quarter and (2) the discrepancy between the value of our assets and the asset requirements was not wholly or partly caused by an acquisition of non-qualifying assets, but instead arose from changes in the market value of our assets. If the condition described in (2) were not satisfied, we still could avoid disqualification by eliminating any discrepancy within 30 days after the close of the calendar quarter in which it arose or by making use of relief provisions described below.  
Annual Distribution Requirements  
In order to qualify as a REIT, we are required to distribute dividends, other than capital gain dividends, to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to:  
(a) the sum of  
(1) 90% of our “REIT taxable income,” computed without regard to our net capital gains and the deduction for dividends paid, and  
(2) 90% of our net income after tax, if any, from foreclosure property minus  
(b) the sum of specified items of non-cash income.  
We generally must make these distributions in the taxable year to which they relate, or in the following taxable year if declared before we timely file our tax return for the year and if paid with or before the first regular dividend payment after such declaration.  
To the extent that we distribute at least 90%, but less than 100%, of our “REIT taxable income,” within the period described above, we will be subject to tax at ordinary corporate tax rates on the retained portion. We may elect to retain, rather than distribute, our net long-term capital gains and pay tax on such gains. In this case, we could elect for our stockholders to include their proportionate shares of such undistributed long-term capital gains in income, and to receive a corresponding credit for their share of the tax that we paid. Our stockholders would then increase their adjusted basis of their stock by the difference between (a) the amounts of capital gain dividends that we designated and that they include in their taxable income, minus (b) the tax that we paid on their behalf with respect to that income.  
To the extent that in the future we may have available net operating losses carried forward from prior tax years, such losses may reduce the amount of distributions that we must make in order to comply with the REIT distribution requirements. Such losses, however, will generally not affect the character, in the hands of our stockholders, of any distributions that are actually made as ordinary dividends or capital gains.  
If we should fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of (a) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year, (b) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year, and (c) any undistributed taxable income from prior periods, we would be subject to a non-deductible 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (x) the amounts actually distributed, plus (y) the amounts of income we retained and on which we have paid corporate income tax.
It is possible that, from time to time, we may not have sufficient cash to meet the distribution requirements due to timing differences between our actual receipt of cash and our inclusion of items in income for federal income tax purposes. For example, mortgage-backed securities that are issued at a discount generally require the accrual of taxable economic interest in advance of receipt in cash. 
Derivatives and Hedging Transactions  
We maintain a risk management strategy, under which we may use a variety of derivative instruments to economically hedge some of our exposure to market risks, including interest rate and prepayment risk. Any such hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including the use of derivative instruments such as interest rate swap agreements, interest rate swaptions, interest rate cap or floor contracts and futures or forward contracts. We may also purchase or short TBA and U.S. Treasury securities, purchase or write put or call options on TBA securities or we may invest in other types of mortgage derivative securities. To the extent that we enter into a hedging transaction to reduce interest rate risk on indebtedness incurred to acquire or carry real estate assets and the instrument is properly identified as a hedge along with the risk it hedges within prescribed time periods, any periodic

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income from the instrument, or gain from the disposition of such instrument, would be excluded altogether from the 75% and 95% gross income test.  
To the extent that we hedge in other situations, the resultant income may not qualify under the 75% or the 95% gross income tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our status as a REIT. We may conduct some of our hedging activities through our TRS, the income from which would be subject to federal and state income tax, rather than by participating in the arrangements directly.  
Failure to Qualify  
If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification other than the income or asset tests, we could avoid disqualification if our failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect and we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. Relief provisions are available for failures of the income tests and asset tests, as described above in “Income Tests” and “Asset Tests.”  
If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year, and the relief provisions described above do not apply, we would be subject to tax, including any applicable alternative minimum tax, on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. We cannot deduct distributions to stockholders in any year in which we are not a REIT, nor would we be required to make distributions in such a year. In this situation, to the extent of current and accumulated earnings and profits, distributions to domestic common stockholders that are individuals, trusts and estates will generally be taxable as a qualified dividend eligible for the maximum federal tax rate of 20% provided that the shares have been held for more than 60 days during the 121 day period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date. For certain distributions to preferred stockholders, the relevant holding period is at least 91 days out of the 181 day period beginning 90 days before the ex–dividend date. In addition, subject to the limitations of the Internal Revenue Code, corporate distributees may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. Unless we are entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we would also be disqualified from re-electing to be taxed as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which we lost qualification. It is not possible to state whether, in all circumstances, we would be entitled to this statutory relief.  
Corporate Information  
Our executive offices are located at Two Bethesda Metro Center, 14th Floor, Bethesda, MD 20814 and our telephone number is (301) 968-9300.  
We make available all of our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to such reports as well as our Code of Ethics and Conduct free of charge on our internet website at www.AGNC.com as soon as reasonably practical after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). These reports are also available on the SEC internet website at www.sec.gov.  
Competition  
Our success depends, in large part, on our ability to acquire assets at favorable spreads over our borrowing costs. In acquiring agency securities, we compete with mortgage REITs, mortgage finance and specialty finance companies, savings and loan associations, banks, mortgage bankers, insurance companies, mutual funds, institutional investors, investment banking firms, other lenders, governmental bodies and other entities. These entities and others that may be organized in the future may have similar asset acquisition objectives and increase competition for the available supply of agency securities suitable for purchase. Additionally, our investment strategy is dependent on the amount of financing available to us in the repurchase agreement market, which may also be impacted by competing borrowers. Our investment strategy will be adversely impacted if we are not able to secure financing on favorable terms, if at all. 
Employees  
We have no employees. We are managed by our Manager pursuant to the management agreement between our Manager and us.

Item 1A. Risk Factors
 
You should carefully consider the risks described below and all other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our annual consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto before making a decision to purchase our securities. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or not presently deemed material by us, may also impair our operations and performance.

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If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected. If that happens, the trading price of our securities could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Investing, Portfolio Management and Financing Activities
Our Board of Directors has approved very broad investment guidelines for our Manager and will not approve each investment and financing decision made by our Manager.
Our Manager is authorized to follow very broad investment guidelines that may be amended from time-to-time. Our Board of Directors periodically reviews our investment guidelines and our investment portfolio but does not, and will not be required to, review all of our proposed investments on an individual basis. In conducting periodic reviews, our Board of Directors relies primarily on information provided to it by our Manager. Furthermore, our Manager may use complex strategies and transactions that may be costly, difficult or impossible to unwind if our Board of Directors determines that they are not consistent with our investment guidelines. In addition, because our Manager has a certain amount of discretion in investment, financing and hedging decisions, our Manager's decisions could result in investment returns that are substantially below expectations or that result in losses, which would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We may experience significant short-term gains or losses and, consequently, greater earnings volatility as a result of our active portfolio management strategy.
Our Manager employs an active management strategy on our behalf to achieve our principal objective of generating attractive risk-adjusted returns. Our active management strategy involves buying and selling financial instruments in all sectors of the agency securities market, including fixed-rate and adjustable-rate agency securities, CMOs, mortgage-related derivatives and agency debenture securities, based on our Manager's continual assessment of the relative risk/return of those investments. Therefore, the composition of our investment portfolio will vary as our Manager believes changes to market conditions, risks and valuations warrant. Consequently, we may experience significant investment gains or losses when we sell investments that our Manager no longer believes provide attractive risk-adjusted returns or when our Manager believes more attractive alternatives are available. With an active management strategy, our Manager may be incorrect in its assessment of our investment portfolio and select an investment portfolio that could generate lower returns than a more static management strategy. Also, investors are less able to assess the changes in our valuation and performance by observing changes in the mortgage market since we may have changed our strategy and portfolio from the last publicly available data. We may also experience fluctuations in leverage as we pursue our active management strategy.
Our strategy involves significant leverage, which increases the risk that we may incur substantial losses.
We expect our leverage to vary with market conditions and our assessment of risk/return on investments. We incur this leverage by borrowing against a substantial portion of the market value of our assets. By incurring this leverage, we could enhance our returns. Nevertheless, this leverage, which is fundamental to our investment strategy, also creates significant risks.
Because of our significant leverage, we may incur substantial losses if our borrowing costs increase. Our borrowing costs may increase for any of the following reasons:
short-term interest rates increase;
the market value of our investments decreases;
the "haircut" applied to our assets under the repurchase agreements we are party to increases;
interest rate volatility increases; or
the availability of financing in the market decreases.
We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities and our competitors may be able to compete more effectively for investment opportunities than we can. This competition may limit our ability to acquire desirable investments in our target assets and could affect the pricing of these investments.
A number of entities compete with us to make investments. We compete with other REITs and public and private funds, including those that may be managed by affiliates of American Capital, such as American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp., commercial and investment banks, commercial finance and insurance companies and other financial institutions. Our competitors may have greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do. Some competitors may have a lower cost of funds than we do or access to funding sources that may not be available to us. Many of our competitors are not subject to the operating constraints associated with REIT tax compliance and maintenance of an exemption from the Investment Company Act. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which may allow them to consider a wider variety of investments and establish more relationships than we can. Furthermore, competition for investments in mortgage-related investments may lead to the price of such assets increasing, which may further limit our ability to generate desired returns. The

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competitive pressures we face could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Also, as a result of this competition, we may not be able to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities from time to time, and we may not be able to identify and make investments that are consistent with our investment objectives.
The federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and related efforts, along with any changes in laws and regulations affecting the relationship between these agencies and the U.S. Government, may adversely affect our business.
The payments of principal and interest we receive on the agency securities in which we may invest are guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are GSEs, but their guarantees are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Ginnie Mae is part of a U.S. Government agency and its guarantees are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
In response to general market instability and, more specifically, the financial conditions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in July 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, or HERA, established FHFA as the new regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In September 2008, the U.S. Treasury, the FHFA and the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a comprehensive action plan to help stabilize the financial markets, support the availability of mortgage financing and protect taxpayers. Under this plan, among other things, the FHFA was appointed as conservator of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allowing the FHFA to control the actions of the two GSEs, without forcing them to liquidate, which would be the case under receivership. Importantly, the primary focus of the plan was to increase the availability of mortgage financing by allowing these GSEs to continue to grow their guarantee business without limit, while limiting the size of their retained mortgage and agency security portfolios and requiring that these portfolios be reduced over time.
Although the U.S. Government has committed to support the positive net worth of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two GSEs could default on their guarantee obligations, which would materially and adversely affect the value of our agency securities. Accordingly, if these government actions are inadequate and the GSEs continue to suffer losses or cease to exist, our business, operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected.
In addition, the future roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be significantly reduced and the nature of their guarantee obligations could be considerably limited relative to historical measurements. Any such changes to the nature of their guarantee obligations could re-define what constitutes an agency security and could have broad adverse implications for the market and our business, operations and financial condition.
We could be negatively affected in a number of ways depending on the manner in which related events unfold for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We rely on our agency securities as collateral for our financings. Any decline in the value of agency securities, or perceived market uncertainty about their value, would make it more difficult for us to obtain financing on favorable terms or at all, or to maintain our compliance with the terms of any financing transactions for such investments. Further, the current support provided by the U.S. Treasury to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and any additional support it may provide in the future, could have the effect of lowering the interest rates we expect to receive from agency securities, thereby tightening the spread between the interest we earn on our agency securities and the cost of financing those assets. A reduction in the supply of agency securities could also negatively affect the pricing of agency securities by reducing the spread between the interest we earn on our investment portfolio of agency securities and our cost of financing that portfolio.
As indicated above, recent legislation has changed the relationship between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the U.S. Government. Future legislation could further change the relationship between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the U.S. Government, and could also nationalize, privatize, or eliminate such entities entirely. Any law affecting these GSEs may create market uncertainty and have the effect of reducing the actual or perceived credit quality of securities issued or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. As a result, such laws could increase the risk of loss on our investments in agency securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac. It also is possible that such laws could adversely impact the market for such securities and spreads at which they trade. All of the foregoing could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Purchases and sales of agency mortgage-backed securities by the Federal Reserve may adversely affect the price and return associated with agency securities.

On September 13, 2012, the Federal Reserve announced their third quantitative easing program, commonly known as QE3, and extended their guidance to keep the federal funds rate at "exceptional low levels" through at least mid-2015. QE3 entails large-scale purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities at the pace of $40 billion per month in addition to the Federal Reserve's existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities into new agency mortgage-backed securities purchases. While we cannot predict the impact of this program or any future actions by the Federal Reserve on the prices and liquidity of agency mortgage-backed securities, we expect that during periods in which the Federal

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Reserve purchases significant volumes of agency mortgage-backed securities, yields on agency mortgage-backed securities will be lower and refinancing volumes will be higher than would have been absent their large scale purchases. As a result, returns on agency mortgage-backed securities may be adversely affected. There is also a risk that as the Federal Reserve reduces their purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities or if they decide to sell some or all of their holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities, the pricing of our agency mortgage-backed securities portfolio may be adversely affected.
Mortgage loan modification and refinancing programs and future legislative action may adversely affect the value of, and our returns on, agency mortgage-backed securities.
The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Federal Reserve, the FHA, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, has implemented a number of federal programs designed to assist homeowners, including the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, which provides homeowners with assistance in avoiding residential mortgage loan foreclosures, the Hope for Homeowners Program, or H4H Program, which allows certain distressed borrowers to refinance their mortgages into FHA-insured loans in order to avoid residential mortgage loan foreclosures, and the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, which for loans sold or guaranteed by the GSEs on or prior to May 31, 2009, allows borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments to refinance and reduce their monthly mortgage payments, with no current loan-to-value ratio upper limit and without requiring new mortgage insurance. HAMP, the H4H Program and other loss mitigation programs may involve, among other things, the modification of mortgage loans to reduce the principal amount of the loans (through forbearance and/or forgiveness) and/or the rate of interest payable on the loans, or the extension of payment terms of the loans. These loan modification programs, future legislative or regulatory actions, including possible amendments to the bankruptcy laws, which result in the modification of outstanding residential mortgage loans, as well as changes in the requirements necessary to qualify for refinancing mortgage loans with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae, may adversely affect the value of, and the returns on, agency mortgage-backed securities that we may purchase.
Actions of the U.S. Government, including the U.S. Congress, U.S. Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury and other governmental and regulatory bodies, to stabilize or reform the financial markets may not achieve the intended effect and may adversely affect our business.
U.S. Government actions may not have a beneficial impact on the financial markets. To the extent the markets do not respond favorably to any such actions by the U.S. Government or such actions do not function as intended, our business may not receive the anticipated positive impact from the legislation and such result may have broad adverse market implications.
In July 2010, the U.S. Congress enacted the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Dodd-Frank Act, in part to impose significant investment restrictions and capital requirements on banking entities and other organizations that are significant to U.S. financial markets. For instance, the Dodd-Frank Act imposes significant restrictions on the proprietary trading activities of certain banking entities and subjects other systemically significant organizations regulated by the U.S. Federal Reserve to increased capital requirements and quantitative limits for engaging in such activities. The Dodd-Frank Act also seeks to reform the asset-backed securitization market (including the mortgage-backed securities market) by requiring the retention of a portion of the credit risk inherent in the pool of securitized assets and by imposing additional registration and disclosure requirements. Certain of the new requirements and restrictions exempt agency securities, other government issued or guaranteed securities, or other securities. Nonetheless, the Dodd-Frank Act also imposes significant regulatory restrictions on the origination of residential mortgage loans and will impact the formation of new issuances of mortgage-backed securities. The Dodd-Frank Act has also created a new regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the CFPB, which now oversees many of the core laws which regulate the mortgage industry, including among others, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act. While the full impact of the Dodd-Frank Act and the role of the CFPB cannot be assessed until all implementing regulations are released, the Dodd-Frank Act's extensive requirements may have a significant effect on the financial markets, and may affect the availability or terms of financing from our lender counterparties and the availability or terms of mortgage-backed securities, both of which may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, the U.S. Government, Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury and other governmental and regulatory bodies have taken or are considering taking other actions to address the financial crisis. We cannot predict whether or when such actions may occur or what effect, if any, such actions could have on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to the risk that the GSEs may not be able to satisfy fully their guarantee obligations or that these guarantee obligations may be repudiated, which may adversely affect the value of our investment portfolio and our ability to sell or finance these securities.
The interest and principal payments we receive on the agency securities in which we invest are guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae. Unlike the Ginnie Mae certificates in which we invest, the principal and interest on securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not explicitly guaranteed by the U.S. Government. All the agency mortgage-backed securities in which we invest depend on a steady stream of payments on the mortgages underlying the securities.

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As conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the FHFA may disaffirm or repudiate contracts (subject to certain limitations for qualified financial contracts) that Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae entered into prior to the FHFA's appointment as conservator if it determines, in its sole discretion, that performance of the contract is burdensome and that disaffirmation or repudiation of the contract promotes the orderly administration of its affairs. The HERA requires the FHFA to exercise its right to disaffirm or repudiate most contracts within a reasonable period of time after its appointment as conservator. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have disclosed that the FHFA has disaffirmed certain consulting and other contracts that these entities entered into prior to the FHFA's appointment as conservator. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have also disclosed that the FHFA has advised that it does not intend to repudiate any guarantee obligation relating to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's mortgage-related securities, because the FHFA views repudiation as incompatible with the goals of the conservatorship. In addition, the HERA provides that mortgage loans and mortgage-related assets that have been transferred to a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae securitization trust must be held for the beneficial owners of the related mortgage-related securities, and cannot be used to satisfy the general creditors of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
If the guarantee obligations of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae were repudiated by FHFA, payments of principal and/or interest to holders of agency securities issued by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae would be reduced in the event of any borrower's late payments or failure to pay or a servicer's failure to remit borrower payments to the trust. In that case, trust administration and servicing fees could be paid from mortgage payments prior to distributions to holders of agency securities. Any actual direct compensatory damages owed due to the repudiation of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae's guarantee obligations may not be sufficient to offset any shortfalls experienced by holders of agency securities. FHFA also has the right to transfer or sell any asset or liability of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, including its guarantee obligation, without any approval, assignment or consent. If FHFA were to transfer Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae's guarantee obligations to another party, holders of agency securities would have to rely on that party for satisfaction of the guarantee obligation and would be exposed to the credit risk of that party.
Market conditions may disrupt the historical relationship between interest rate changes and prepayment trends, which may make it more difficult for our Manager to analyze our investment portfolio.
Our success depends, in part, on our Manager's ability to analyze the relationship of changing interest rates on prepayments of the mortgage loans that underlie securities we may own. Changes in interest rates and prepayments affect the market price of the assets that we purchase and any assets that we may hold at a given time. As part of our overall portfolio risk management, our Manager analyzes interest rate changes and prepayment trends separately and collectively to assess their effects on our investment portfolio. In conducting its analysis, our Manager depends on certain assumptions based upon historical trends with respect to the relationship between interest rates and prepayments under normal market conditions. Dislocations in the residential mortgage market and other developments may disrupt the relationship between the way that prepayment trends have historically responded to interest rate changes and, consequently, may negatively impact our Manager's ability to (i) assess the market value of our investment portfolio, (ii) implement our hedging strategies and (iii) implement techniques to reduce our prepayment rate volatility, which could materially adversely affect our financial position and results of operations.
Continued adverse developments in the broader residential mortgage market may adversely affect the value of our investments.
Since 2008, the residential mortgage market in the United States has experienced a variety of unprecedented difficulties and changed economic conditions, including defaults, credit losses and liquidity concerns. Many of these conditions are expected to continue in 2013 and beyond. These factors have impacted investor perception of the risk associated with real estate related assets, including mortgage-related investments. As a result, values for these assets have experienced a certain amount of volatility. Further increased volatility and deterioration in the broader residential mortgage and RMBS markets may adversely affect the performance and market value of the assets in which we invest.
The risks associated with our business are more severe during economic recessions and are compounded by declining real estate values. Declining real estate values will likely reduce the level of new mortgage loan originations since borrowers often use appreciation in the value of their existing properties to support the purchase of additional properties. Borrowers will also be less able to pay principal and interest on loans underlying the securities in which we invest if the value of residential real estate weakens further. Any sustained period of increased payment delinquencies, foreclosures or losses could increase the rate that the GSEs buyout the delinquent loans from pools underlying the agency securities in which we invest, resulting in an increased rate of prepayments that could adversely affect our net interest income from our agency securities, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.
Our investments are recorded at fair value, and quoted prices or observable inputs may not be available to determine such value, resulting in the use of significant unobservable inputs to determine value.
The values of our investments may not be readily determinable or ultimately realizable. We measure the fair value of our investments quarterly, in accordance with guidance set forth in FASB Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Topic 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures. Ultimate realization of the value of an asset depends to a great extent on economic and

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other conditions that are beyond the control of our Manager, our Company or our Board of Directors. Further, fair value is only an estimate based on good faith judgment of the price at which an investment can be sold since market prices of investments can only be determined by negotiation between a willing buyer and seller. If we were to liquidate a particular asset, the realized value may be more than or less than the amount at which such asset is valued. Accordingly, the value of our common stock could be adversely affected by our determinations regarding the fair value of our investments, whether in the applicable period or in the future. Additionally, such valuations may fluctuate over short periods of time.
Our Manager's determination of the fair value of our investments includes inputs provided by third-party dealers and pricing services. Valuations of certain investments in which we invest may be difficult to obtain or unreliable. In general, dealers and pricing services heavily disclaim their valuations. Dealers may claim to furnish valuations only as an accommodation and without special compensation, and so they may disclaim any and all liability for any direct, incidental, or consequential damages arising out of any inaccuracy or incompleteness in valuations, including any act of negligence or breach of any warranty. Depending on the complexity and illiquidity of a security, valuations of the same security can vary substantially from one dealer or pricing service to another. Therefore, our results of operations for a given period could be adversely affected if our determinations regarding the fair market value of these investments are materially different than the values that we ultimately realize upon their disposal.
Declines in value of the assets in which we invest will adversely affect our financial position and results of operations, and make it more costly to finance these assets.
We use our investments as collateral for our financings. Any decline in their value, or perceived market uncertainty about their value, could make it difficult for us to obtain financing on favorable terms or at all, or maintain our compliance with terms of any financing arrangements already in place. Our investments in mortgage-related securities are recorded at fair value with changes in fair value reported in other comprehensive income (a component of equity). As a result, a decline in fair values of our mortgage-related securities could reduce both our comprehensive income and stockholders' equity. If market conditions result in a decline in the fair value of our assets, our financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Failure to procure adequate repurchase agreement financing or to renew or replace existing repurchase agreement financing as it matures (to which risk we are specifically exposed due to the short-term nature of the repurchase agreement financing we employ) would adversely affect our results of operations.
We use debt financing as a strategy to increase our return on equity. However, we may not be able to achieve our desired leverage ratio for a number of reasons, including the following:
our lenders do not make repurchase or other financing agreements available to us at acceptable rates;
lenders with whom we enter into repurchase or other financing agreements subsequently exit the market for such financing;
our lenders require that we pledge additional collateral to cover our borrowings, which we may be unable to do; or
we determine that the leverage would expose us to excessive risk.
We cannot assure you that any, or sufficient, financing will be available to us in the future on terms that are acceptable to us. In the event that we cannot obtain sufficient funding on acceptable terms, there may be a negative impact on the value of our common stock and our ability to make distributions, and you may lose part or all of your investment.
Furthermore, because we rely primarily on short-term borrowings, our ability to achieve our investment objectives depends not only on our ability to borrow money in sufficient amounts and on favorable terms, but also on our ability to renew or replace on a continuous basis our maturing short-term borrowings. If we are not able to renew or replace maturing borrowings, we may have to sell some or all of our assets, possibly under adverse market conditions. In addition, if the regulatory capital requirements imposed on our lenders change, they may be required to significantly increase the cost of the financing that they provide to us. Our lenders also may revise their eligibility requirements for the types of assets they are willing to finance or the terms of such financings, based on, among other factors, the regulatory environment and their management of perceived risk, particularly with respect to assignee liability.
Pursuant to the terms of borrowings under master repurchase agreements, we are subject to margin calls that could result in defaults or force us to sell assets under adverse market conditions or through foreclosure.
We enter into master repurchase agreements with a number of financial institutions. We borrow under these master repurchase agreements to finance the assets for our investment portfolio. Pursuant to the terms of borrowings under our master repurchase agreements, a decline in the value of the collateral may result in our lenders initiating margin calls. A margin call means that the lender requires us to pledge additional collateral to re-establish the ratio of the value of the collateral to the amount of the borrowing. The specific collateral value to borrowing ratio that would trigger a margin call is not set in the master repurchase agreements and is not determined until we engage in a repurchase transaction under these agreements. Our fixed-rate collateral

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generally may be more susceptible to margin calls as increases in interest rates tend to affect more negatively the market value of fixed-rate securities. In addition, some collateral may be more illiquid than other instruments in which we invest, which could cause them to be more susceptible to margin calls in a volatile market environment. Moreover, collateral that prepays more quickly increases the frequency and magnitude of potential margin calls as there is a significant time lag between when the prepayment is reported (which reduces the market value of the security) and when the principal payment is actually received. If we are unable to satisfy margin calls, our lenders may foreclose on our collateral. The threat of or occurrence of a margin call could force us to sell, either directly or through a foreclosure, our collateral under adverse market conditions. Because of the leverage we expect to have, we may incur substantial losses upon the threat or occurrence of a margin call.
If lenders pursuant to our repurchase transactions default on their obligations to resell the underlying collateral back to us at the end of the transaction term, or if the value of the collateral has declined by the end of the term or if we default on our obligations under the transaction, we will lose money on these transactions.
When we engage in a repurchase transaction, we initially transfer securities or loans to the financial institution under one of our master repurchase agreements in exchange for cash, and our counterparty is obligated to resell such assets to us at the end of the term of the transaction, which is typically from 30 days to one year, but which may have terms from one day to up to five years or more. The cash we receive when we initially sell the collateral is less than the value of that collateral, which is referred to as the "haircut." As a result, we are able to borrow against a smaller portion of the collateral that we initially sell in these transactions. Increased haircuts require us to post additional collateral. The haircut rates under our master repurchase agreements are not set until we engage in a specific repurchase transaction under these agreements. If our counterparty defaults on its obligation to resell collateral to us, we would incur a loss on the transaction equal to the amount of the haircut (assuming there was no change in the value of the securities). Any losses we incur on our repurchase transactions could adversely affect our earnings, and, thus, our cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
If we default on one of our obligations under a repurchase transaction, the counterparty can terminate the transaction and cease entering into any other repurchase transactions with us. In that case, we would likely need to establish a replacement repurchase facility with another financial institution in order to continue to leverage our investment portfolio and carry out our investment strategy. We may not be able to secure a suitable replacement facility on acceptable terms or at all.
Further, financial institutions providing the repurchase agreements may require us to maintain a certain amount of cash uninvested or to set aside non-leveraged assets sufficient to maintain a specified liquidity position which would allow us to satisfy our collateral obligations. As a result, we may not be able to leverage our assets as fully as we would choose, which could reduce our return on equity. If we are unable to meet these collateral obligations, our financial condition could deteriorate rapidly. Additionally, our counterparties can unilaterally choose to cease entering into any further repurchase transactions with us.
Our rights under our repurchase agreements are subject to the effects of the bankruptcy laws in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of us or our lenders under the repurchase agreements.
In the event of our insolvency or bankruptcy, certain repurchase agreements may qualify for special treatment under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the effect of which, among other things, would be to allow the lender under the applicable repurchase agreement to avoid the automatic stay provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and to foreclose on the collateral agreement without delay. In the event of the insolvency or bankruptcy of a lender during the term of a repurchase agreement, the lender may be permitted, under applicable insolvency laws, to repudiate the contract, and our claim against the lender for damages may be treated simply as an unsecured creditor. In addition, if the lender is a broker or dealer subject to the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970, or an insured depository institution subject to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, our ability to exercise our rights to recover our assets under a repurchase agreement or to be compensated for any damages resulting from the lender's insolvency may be further limited by those statutes. These claims would be subject to significant delay and, if and when received, may be substantially less than the damages we actually incur.
It may be uneconomical to "roll" our TBA dollar roll transactions or we may be unable to meet margin calls on our TBA contracts, which could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We may utilize TBA dollar roll transactions as a means of investing in and financing agency mortgage-backed securities. TBA contracts enable us to purchase or sell, for future delivery, agency securities with certain principal and interest terms and certain types of collateral, but the particular agency securities to be delivered are not identified until shortly before the TBA settlement date. Prior to settlement of the TBA contract we may choose to move the settlement of the securities out to a later date by entering into an offsetting position (referred to as a "pair off"), net settling the paired off positions for cash, and simultaneously purchasing a similar TBA contract for a later settlement date, collectively referred to as a “dollar roll.” The agency securities purchased for a forward settlement date under the TBA contract are typically priced at a discount to agency securities for settlement in the current month. This difference (or discount) is referred to as the “price drop.” The price drop is the economic equivalent of net interest carry income on the underlying agency securities over the roll period (interest income less implied financing cost)

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and is commonly referred to as "dollar roll income." Consequently, dollar roll transactions and such forward purchases of agency securities represent a form of off-balance sheet financing and increase our "at risk" leverage.
Under certain market conditions, TBA dollar roll transactions may result in negative carry income whereby the agency securities purchased for a forward settlement date under the TBA contract are priced at a premium to agency securities for settlement in the current month. Under such conditions, it would generally be uneconomical to roll our TBA positions prior to the settlement date and we could have to take physical delivery of the underlying securities and settle our obligations for cash. We may not have sufficient funds or alternative financing sources available to settle such obligations. In addition, pursuant to the margin provisions established by the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division ("MBSD") of the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation we are subject to margin calls on our TBA contracts. Further, our prime brokerage agreements may require us to post additional margin above the levels established by the MBSD. Negative carry income on TBA dollar roll transactions or failure to procure adequate financing to settle our obligations or meet margin calls under our TBA contracts could result in defaults or force us to sell assets under adverse market conditions or through foreclosure and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
An increase in our borrowing costs would adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Increases in interest rates reduce the difference, or spread, that we may earn between the yield on the investments we make and the cost of the leverage we employ to finance such investments. An increase in short-term interest rates would increase the amount of interest owed on the financing arrangements we enter into to finance the purchase of the assets, such as repurchase agreements. It is possible that the spread on investments could be reduced to a point at which the profitability from investments would be significantly reduced. This would adversely affect our returns on our assets, financial condition and results of operations and could require us to liquidate certain or all of our assets.
Differences in timing of interest rate adjustments on adjustable-rate assets or the tenor of fixed rate assets we acquire and our borrowings may adversely affect our profitability.
Assets we acquire may have interest rates that vary over time based upon changes in an objective index, such as:
LIBOR, which is the interest rate that banks in London offer for deposits in London of U.S. dollars; or
the U.S. Treasury rate, which is a monthly or weekly average yield of benchmark U.S. Treasury securities, as published by the Federal Reserve Board.
These indices generally reflect short-term interest rates but these assets may not reset in a manner that matches our borrowings. In addition, we may rely primarily on short-term and/or variable rate borrowings to acquire fixed-rate securities with long-term maturities. The relationship between short-term and longer-term interest rates is often referred to as the "yield curve." Ordinarily, short-term interest rates are lower than longer-term interest rates. If short-term interest rates rise disproportionately relative to longer-term interest rates (a flattening of the yield curve), our borrowing costs may increase more rapidly than the interest income earned on our assets. Because our investments generally bear interest at longer-term rates than we pay on our borrowings, a flattening of the yield curve would tend to decrease our net interest income and the market value of our investment portfolio. Additionally, to the extent cash flows from investments that return scheduled and unscheduled principal are reinvested, the spread between the yields on the new investments and available borrowing rates may decline, which would likely decrease our net income. It is also possible that short-term interest rates may exceed longer-term interest rates (a yield curve inversion), in which event, our borrowing costs may exceed our interest income and we could incur operating losses and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders could be hindered.
Interest rate caps on mortgages backing our adjustable rate securities may adversely affect our profitability.
Adjustable-rate mortgages that we may purchase or that may back securities that we purchase will typically be subject to periodic and lifetime interest rate caps. Periodic interest rate caps limit the amount an interest rate can increase during any given period. Lifetime interest rate caps limit the amount an interest rate can increase through the maturity of a mortgage loan we may purchase or that may back securities that we may purchase. Our borrowings typically will not be subject to similar restrictions. Accordingly, in a period of rapidly increasing interest rates, the interest rates paid on our borrowings could increase without limitation while caps on mortgages could limit the interest rates on our investments in ARMs. This problem is magnified for hybrid ARMs and ARMs that are not fully indexed. Further, some hybrid ARMs and ARMs may be subject to periodic payment caps on the mortgages that result in a portion of the interest being deferred and added to the principal outstanding. As a result, we may receive less cash income on hybrid ARMs and ARMs than we need to pay interest on our related borrowings. These factors could reduce our net interest income and cause us to suffer a loss.


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An increase in interest rates may cause a decrease in the volume of newly issued, or investor demand for, mortgages, which could adversely affect our ability to acquire assets that satisfy our investment objectives and to generate income and pay dividends, while a decrease in interest rates may cause an increase in the volume of newly issued, or investor demand for, mortgages, which could negatively affect the valuations for our investments and may adversely affect our liquidity.
A reduction in the volume of mortgage loans originated may affect the volume of investments available to us, which could affect our ability to acquire assets that satisfy our investment objectives. An increase in the volume of mortgage loans originated may negatively impact the valuation for our investment portfolio. A negative impact on valuations of our assets could have an adverse impact on our liquidity profile in the event that we are required to post margin under our repurchase agreements, which could materially and adversely impact our business.
Because we may invest in fixed-rate assets, an increase in interest rates on our borrowings may adversely affect our book value or our net interest income.
Increases in interest rates may negatively affect the market value of our investments. Any fixed-rate securities we invest in generally will be more negatively affected by these increases than adjustable-rate securities. In accordance with GAAP, we are required to reduce the book value of our investments by the amount of any decrease in their fair value. Reductions in the fair value of our investments could decrease the amounts we may borrow to purchase additional mortgage-related investments, which may restrict our ability to increase our net income. Furthermore, if our funding costs are rising while our interest income is fixed, our net interest income will contract and could become negative.
Changes in prepayment rates may adversely affect our profitability.
Our investment portfolio includes securities backed by pools of mortgage loans. For securities backed by pools of mortgage loans, we receive payments, generally, from the payments that are made on these underlying mortgage loans. When borrowers prepay their mortgage loans at rates that are faster or slower than expected, it results in prepayments that are faster or slower than expected on our assets. These faster or slower than expected payments may adversely affect our profitability.
We may purchase securities that have a higher interest rate than the then prevailing market interest rate. In exchange for this higher interest rate, we may pay a premium to par value to acquire the security. In accordance with GAAP, we amortize this premium over the expected term of the security based on our prepayment assumptions. If a security is prepaid in whole or in part at a faster than expected rate, however, we must expense all or a part of the remaining unamortized portion of the premium that was paid at the time of the purchase, which will adversely affect our profitability.
We also may purchase securities that have a lower interest rate than the then prevailing market interest rate. In exchange for this lower interest rate, we may pay a discount to par value to acquire the security. We accrete this discount over the expected term of the security based on our prepayment assumptions. If a security is prepaid at a slower than expected rate, however, we must accrete the remaining portion of the discount at a slower than expected rate. This will extend the expected life of our investment portfolio and result in a lower than expected yield on securities purchased at a discount to par.
Prepayment rates generally increase when interest rates fall and decrease when interest rates rise, but changes in prepayment rates are difficult to predict. Prepayments can also occur when borrowers sell the property and use the sale proceeds to prepay the mortgage as part of a physical relocation or when borrowers default on their mortgages and the mortgages are prepaid from the proceeds of a foreclosure sale of the property. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will generally, among other conditions, purchase mortgages that are 120 days or more delinquent from mortgage-backed securities trusts when the cost of guarantee payments to security holders, including advances of interest at the security coupon rate, exceeds the cost of holding the nonperforming loans in their portfolios. Consequently, prepayment rates also may be affected by conditions in the housing and financial markets, which may result in increased delinquencies on mortgage loans, the government-sponsored entities cost of capital, general economic conditions and the relative interest rates on fixed and adjustable rate loans, which could lead to an acceleration of the payment of the related principal. Additionally, changes in the government-sponsored entities' decisions as to when to repurchase delinquent loans can materially impact prepayment rates.
In addition, the introduction of new government programs could increase the availability of mortgage credit to a large number of homeowners in the United States, which we expect would impact the prepayment rates for the entire mortgage securities market, but primarily for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agency securities. These new programs along with any new additional programs or changes to existing programs may cause substantial uncertainty around the magnitude of changes in prepayment speeds. To the extent that actual prepayment speeds differ from our expectations, it could adversely affect our operating results.



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Our hedging strategies may not be successful in mitigating the risks associated with changes in interest rates.
Subject to complying with REIT tax requirements, we employ techniques that limit, or "hedge," the adverse effects of changes in interest rates on our short-term repurchase agreements and our net book value. In general, our hedging strategy depends on our Manager's view of our entire investment portfolio, consisting of assets, liabilities and derivative instruments, in light of prevailing market conditions. Our hedging activities are generally designed to limit certain exposures and not to eliminate them. In addition, they may be unsuccessful and we could misjudge the condition of our investment portfolio or the market. Our hedging activity will vary in scope based on the level and volatility of interest rates and principal repayments, credit market conditions, the type of assets held and other changing market conditions. Our actual hedging decisions will be determined in light of the facts and circumstances existing at the time and may differ from our currently anticipated hedging strategy. These techniques may include entering into interest rate swap agreements, interest rate swaptions, TBAs, short sales, caps, collars, floors, forward contracts, options, futures or other types of hedging transactions. We may conduct certain hedging transactions through a TRS, which may subject those transactions to federal, state and, if applicable, local income tax.
There are no perfect hedging strategies, and interest rate and credit hedging may fail to protect us from loss. Additionally, our business model calls for accepting certain amounts of interest rate, prepayment, liquidity, and other exposures and thus some risks will generally not be hedged. Alternatively, our Manager may fail to properly assess a risk to our investment portfolio or may fail to recognize a risk entirely, leaving us exposed to losses without the benefit of any offsetting hedging activities. The derivative financial instruments we select may not have the effect of reducing our risk. The nature and timing of hedging transactions may influence the effectiveness of these strategies. Poorly designed hedging strategies or improperly executed transactions could actually increase our risk and losses. In addition, hedging activities could result in losses if the event against which we hedge does not occur. For example, interest rate hedging could fail to protect us or adversely affect us because, among other things:
interest rate hedging can be expensive, particularly during periods of rising and volatile interest rates;
available interest rate hedges may not correspond directly with the interest rate risk for which protection is sought;
the duration of the hedge may not match the duration of the related liability;
the amount of income that a REIT may earn from hedging transactions other than hedging transactions that satisfy certain requirements of the Internal Revenue Code or that are done through a TRS to offset interest rate losses is limited by federal tax provisions governing REITs;
as explained in further detail in the risk factor immediately below, the party owing money in the hedging transaction may default on its obligation to pay;
the credit quality of the party owing money on the hedge may be downgraded to such an extent that it impairs our ability to sell or assign our side of the hedging transaction; and
the value of derivatives used for hedging are adjusted from time to time in accordance with GAAP to reflect changes in fair value. Downward adjustments, or "mark-to-market losses," reducing our stockholders' equity.
Our hedging strategies may adversely affect us because hedging activities involve costs that we incur regardless of the effectiveness of the hedging activity. Those costs may be higher in periods of market volatility, both because the counterparties to our derivative agreements may demand a higher payment for taking risks, and because repeated adjustments of our hedges during periods of interest rate changes also may increase costs. We could incur significant hedging-related costs without any corresponding economic benefits, especially if our hedging strategies are not effective.
Our use of certain hedging techniques may expose us to certain risks.
Hedging instruments often are not traded on regulated exchanges, guaranteed by an exchange or it's clearing house, or regulated by any U.S. or foreign governmental authorities and involves risks and costs that could result in material losses. The cost of using hedging instruments increases as the period covered by the instrument increases and, during periods of rising and volatile interest rates, we may increase our hedging activity and thus increase our hedging costs. In addition, hedging instruments involve risk because they often are not traded on regulated exchanges, guaranteed by an exchange or its clearing house, or regulated by any U.S. or foreign governmental authorities. Consequently, there are no requirements with respect to record keeping, financial responsibility or segregation of customer funds and positions. Furthermore, the enforceability of agreements underlying hedging transactions may depend on compliance with applicable statutory and commodity and other regulatory requirements and, depending on the domicile of the counterparty, applicable international requirements.
If a swap counterparty under an interest rate swap agreement that we enter into as part of our hedging strategy cannot perform under the terms of the interest rate swap agreement, we may not receive payments due under that agreement, and, thus, we may lose any potential benefit associated with the interest rate swap. Additionally, we may also risk the loss of any collateral we have pledged to secure our obligations under these swap agreements if the counterparty becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy. Similarly, if an interest rate cap counterparty fails to perform under the terms of the interest rate cap agreement, in addition to not

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receiving payments due under that agreement that would off-set our interest expense, we could also incur a loss for all remaining unamortized premium paid for that security.
Pursuant to the terms of our master swap agreements, we are subject to margin calls that could result in defaults or force us to sell assets under adverse market conditions.
Certain of our master swap agreements (governed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc., or ISDA) require that we post initial collateral upon execution of swap agreements. In addition, our master swap agreements contain provisions under which we are required to collateralize fully our obligations under the derivative instrument, such that if at any point the fair value of the derivative represents a liability greater than the minimum transfer amount contained within our agreement, the counterparty may initiate a margin call for the difference. If we fail to satisfy the margin call, we will be required to settle our obligations under the agreements at their termination values.
Further, our master swap agreements may also contain cross default provisions under which a default under certain of our other indebtedness in excess of a certain threshold amount causes an event of default under the agreement. Following an event of default, we could be required to settle our obligations under the agreements at their termination values.
The threat of or occurrence of margin calls or the forced settlement of our obligations under our master swap agreements at their termination values could force us to sell, either directly or through a foreclosure, our investments under adverse market conditions. Because of the leverage we have, we may incur substantial losses upon the threat or occurrence of either of these events.
We may change our targeted investments, investment guidelines and other operational policies without stockholder consent, which may adversely affect the market price of our common stock and our ability to make distributions to stockholders.
We may change our targeted investments and investment guidelines at any time, including a change that would permit us to invest in other mortgage related investments, without the consent of our stockholders, which could result in our making investments that are different from, and possibly riskier than, the investments described herein. Our Board of Directors also determines our other operational policies and may amend or revise such policies, including our policies with respect to our REIT qualification, acquisitions, dispositions, operations, indebtedness and distributions, or approve transactions that deviate from these policies, without a vote of, or notice to, our stockholders. A change in our targeted investments, investment guidelines and other operational policies may increase our exposure to interest rate risk, default risk, credit risk and real estate market fluctuations, all of which could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

Risks Related to Our Relationship with Our Manager and American Capital
There are conflicts of interest in our relationship with our Manager and American Capital.
Because we have no employees, our Manager is responsible for making all of our investment decisions. Certain of our and our Manager's officers are employees of American Capital or its affiliates and these persons do not devote their time exclusively to us. Our Manager's Investment Committee consists of Messrs. Wilkus, Erickson, Flax, Kain and McHale, each of whom is an officer of American Capital or the parent company of our Manager and has significant responsibilities to American Capital and certain of its portfolio companies, affiliated entities or managed funds. Mr. Kain is our President and Chief Investment Officer and also serves as the President of our Manager and as the President and a member of its parent company. Mr. Kain is also the President and Chief Investment Officer of American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. and the President of its manager. Thus, he has, and may in the future have, significant responsibilities for other funds that are managed by the parent company of our Manager or entities affiliated therewith. In addition, because certain of our and our Manager's officers are also responsible for providing services to American Capital and/or certain of its portfolio companies, affiliated entities or managed funds, they may not devote sufficient time to the management of our business operations.
Additionally, our Manager is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Capital Mortgage Management, LLC, which is also the parent company of the external manager of American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp., a publicly-traded REIT that invests in agency and non-agency mortgage investments, CMBS and mortgage loans and may compete with us for acquisitions of agency mortgage-related investments. American Capital Mortgage Management, LLC is a subsidiary of American Capital Asset Management, LLC, which is a wholly-owned portfolio company of American Capital. There are no restrictions on American Capital that prevent American Capital from sponsoring another investment vehicle that competes with us. Accordingly, American Capital or one or more of its affiliates may also compete with us for investments, except that American Capital has agreed that so long as our Manager or affiliate of American Capital continues to manage our company, it will not sponsor another investment vehicle that invests predominantly in whole pool agency mortgage-backed securities.

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Although our Manager and its affiliates have policies in place that seek to mitigate the effects of conflicts of interest, including any potential conflict relating to the allocation of certain types of securities that meet our investment objectives and those of other managed funds or affiliates of our Manager, these policies do not eliminate the conflicts of interest that our officers and the officers and employees of our Manager and its affiliates face in making investment decisions on behalf of American Capital, any other American Capital-sponsored investment vehicles and us. Further, we do not have any agreement or understanding with American Capital that would give us any priority over American Capital, any of its affiliates, or any such American Capital-sponsored investment vehicle in opportunities to invest in mortgage-related investments. Accordingly, we may compete for access to the benefits that we expect from our relationship with our Manager and American Capital.
Our management agreement was not negotiated on an arm's-length basis and the terms, including fees payable, may not be as favorable to us as if they were negotiated with an unaffiliated third party.
The management agreement was originally negotiated between related parties, and we did not have the benefit of arm's-length negotiations of the type normally conducted with an unaffiliated third party. The terms of the management agreement, including fees payable, may not reflect the terms that we may have received if it were negotiated with an unrelated third party. In addition, we may choose not to enforce, or to enforce less vigorously, our rights under the management agreement because of our desire to maintain our ongoing relationship with our Manager.
We are completely dependent upon our Manager and certain personnel of American Capital or the parent company of our Manager who provide services to us through the management agreement and the administrative services agreement and we may not find suitable replacements for our Manager and these personnel if the management agreement and the administrative services agreement are terminated or such personnel are no longer available to us.
Because we have no employees or separate facilities, we are completely dependent on our Manager and its affiliates to conduct our operations pursuant to the management agreement. Our Manager does not have any employees and relies upon certain employees of its parent company and American Capital to conduct our day-to-day operations pursuant to an administrative services agreement. Under the administrative services agreement, our Manager is provided with those services and resources necessary for our Manager to perform its obligations and responsibilities under the management agreement in exchange for certain fees payable by our Manager. Neither the administrative services agreement nor the management agreement requires our Manager or its parent company or American Capital to dedicate specific personnel to our operations. It also does not require any specific personnel of our Manager or its parent company or American Capital to dedicate a specific amount of time to our business. Additionally, because our Manager is relying upon American Capital, we may be negatively impacted by events or factors that negatively impact American Capital's business, financial condition or results of operations.
If we terminate the management agreement without cause, we may not, without the consent of our Manager, employ any employee of the Manager or any of its affiliates, including American Capital, or any person who has been employed by our Manager or any of its affiliates at any time within the two-year period immediately preceding the date on which the person commences employment with us for two years after such termination of the management agreement. We believe that the successful implementation of our investment, financing and hedging strategies depends upon the experience of certain of American Capital and our Manager's officers. American Capital or the parent company of our Manager has entered into retention agreements with certain of these officers. However, none of these individuals' continued service is guaranteed. Furthermore, if the management agreement is terminated or these individuals leave the parent company of our Manager or American Capital, we may be unable to execute our business plan.
We have no recourse to American Capital if it does not fulfill its obligations under the administrative services agreement.
Neither we nor our Manager have any employees or separate facilities. Our day-to-day operations are conducted by employees of American Capital or the parent company of our Manager pursuant to an administrative services agreement among our Manager, its parent company and American Capital. Under the administrative services agreement, our Manager is also provided with the services and other resources necessary for our Manager to perform its obligations and responsibilities under the management agreement in exchange for certain fees payable by our Manager. Although the administrative services agreement may not be terminated unless the management agreement has been terminated pursuant to its terms, American Capital and the parent company of our Manager may assign their rights and obligations thereunder to any of their affiliates, including American Capital Asset Management, LLC, the majority member of the parent company of our Manager. In addition, because we are not a party to the administrative services agreement, we do not have any recourse to American Capital or the parent company of our Manager if they do not fulfill their obligations under the administrative services agreement or if they elect to assign the agreement to one of their affiliates. Also, our Manager only has nominal assets and we will have limited recourse against our Manager under the Management Agreement to remedy any liability to us from a breach of contract or fiduciary duties.

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If we elect not to renew the management agreement without cause, we would be required to pay our Manager a substantial termination fee. These and other provisions in our management agreement make non-renewal of our management agreement difficult and costly.
Electing not to renew the management agreement without cause would be difficult and costly for us. With the consent of the majority of the independent members of our Board of Directors, we may elect not to renew our management agreement upon the expiration of any automatic annual renewal term, upon 180-days prior written notice. If we elect not to renew the management agreement because of a decision by our Board of Directors that the management fee is unfair, our Manager has the right to renegotiate a mutually agreeable management fee. If we elect to not renew the management agreement without cause, we are required to pay our Manager a termination fee equal to three times the average annual management fee earned by our Manager during the prior 24-month period immediately preceding the most recently completed month prior to the effective date of termination. These provisions may increase the effective cost to us of electing to not renew the management agreement.
Our Manager's management fee is based on the amount of our Equity and is payable regardless of our performance.
Our Manager is entitled to receive a monthly management fee from us that is based on the amount of our Equity (as defined in our management agreement), regardless of the performance of our investment portfolio. For example, we would pay our Manager a management fee for a specific period even if we experienced a net loss during the same period. The amount of the monthly management fee is equal to one-twelfth of 1.25% of our Equity and therefore is only increased by increases in our Equity. Increases to our Equity will primarily result from equity issuances, which could result in a conflict of interest between our Manager and our stockholders with respect to the timing and terms of our equity issuances. While our stockholders bear the risk of our future equity issuances reducing the price of our common stock and diluting the value of their stock holdings in us, the compensation payable to our Manager will increase as a result of future issuances of our equity securities. Our Manager's entitlement to substantial nonperformance-based compensation may reduce its incentive to devote sufficient time and effort to seeking investments that provide attractive risk-adjusted returns for our investment portfolio. This in turn could harm our ability to make distributions to our stockholders and the market price of our common stock.
Our Manager's liability is limited under the management agreement, and we have agreed to indemnify our Manager against certain liabilities.
The management agreement provides that our Manager will not assume any responsibility other than to provide the services specified in the management agreement. The agreement further provides that our Manager is not responsible for any action of our Board of Directors in following or declining to follow its advice or recommendations. In addition, our Manager and its respective affiliates, managers, officers, directors, employees and members will be held harmless from, and indemnified by us against, certain liabilities on customary terms.
Our results are dependent upon the efforts of our Manager.
Our Manager's success, which is largely determinative of our own success, depends on many factors, including the availability of attractive risk-adjusted investment opportunities that satisfy our targeted investment strategies and then identifying and consummating them on favorable terms, the level and volatility of interest rates, its ability to access on our behalf short-term and long-term financing on favorable terms and conditions in the financial markets, real estate market and the economy, as to which no assurances can be given. In addition, our Manager may face substantial competition for attractive investment opportunities. Our Manager may not be able to successfully cause us to make investments with attractive risk-adjusted returns.

Risks Related to Our Taxation as a REIT
If we fail to remain qualified as a REIT, we will be subject to tax as a regular corporation and could face a substantial tax liability, which would reduce the amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
We operate in a manner that allows us to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. Although we do not intend to request a ruling from the IRS as to our REIT qualification, we have received an opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP with respect to our qualification as a REIT. Investors should be aware, however, that opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS or any court. The opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP represents only the view of our counsel based on our counsel's review and analysis of existing law and on certain representations as to factual matters and covenants made by us and our Manager, including representations relating to the values of our assets and the sources of our income. The opinion is expressed as of the date issued and does not cover subsequent periods. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has no obligation to advise us or the holders of our common stock of any subsequent change in the matters stated, represented or assumed, or of any subsequent change in applicable law. Furthermore, both the validity of the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and our qualification as a REIT depend on our satisfaction of certain asset, income, organizational, distribution, stockholder

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ownership and other requirements on a continuing basis, the results of which are not monitored by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Our ability to satisfy the asset tests depends upon our analysis of the characterization and fair market values of our assets, some of which are not susceptible to a precise determination, and for which we will not obtain independent appraisals. Our compliance with the annual REIT income and quarterly asset requirements also depends upon our ability to successfully manage the composition of our income and assets on an ongoing basis. Moreover, the proper classification of an instrument as debt or equity for federal income tax purposes may be uncertain in some circumstances, which could affect the application of the REIT qualification requirements as described below. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not contend that our interests in subsidiaries or in securities of other issuers will not cause a violation of the REIT requirements.
If we were to fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, we would be subject to federal income tax, including any applicable alternative minimum tax, on our taxable income at regular corporate rates, and dividends paid to our stockholders would not be deductible by us in computing our taxable income. Any resulting corporate tax liability could be substantial and would reduce the amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders, which in turn could have an adverse impact on the value of our common stock. Unless we were entitled to relief under certain Internal Revenue Code provisions, we also would be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year in which we failed to qualify as a REIT.
Distributions payable by REITs do not qualify for the reduced tax rates available for some dividends.
The maximum tax rate applicable to income from "qualified dividends" payable to domestic stockholders that are individuals, trusts and estates is currently 20%. Distributions of ordinary income payable by REITs, however, generally are not eligible for the reduced rates. Although this legislation does not adversely affect the taxation of REITs or distributions payable by REITs, the more favorable rates applicable to regular corporate qualified dividends could cause investors who are individuals, trusts and estates to perceive investments in REITs to be relatively less attractive than investments in the stocks of non-REIT corporations that pay dividends, which could adversely affect the value of the stock of REITs, including our common stock.
REIT distribution requirements could adversely affect our ability to execute our business plan.
We generally must distribute annually at least 90% of our taxable income, subject to certain adjustments and excluding any net capital gain, in order for federal corporate income tax not to apply to earnings that we distribute. To the extent that we satisfy this distribution requirement, but distribute less than 100% of our taxable income, we will be subject to federal corporate income tax on our undistributed taxable income. In addition, we will be subject to a non-deductible 4% excise tax if the actual amount that we pay out to our stockholders in a calendar year is less than a minimum amount specified under federal tax laws. We intend to make distributions to our stockholders to comply with the REIT qualification requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.
From time to time, we may generate taxable income greater than our income for financial reporting purposes prepared in accordance with GAAP, or differences in timing between the recognition of taxable income and the actual receipt of cash may occur. For example, if we purchase agency securities at a discount, we are generally required to accrete the discount into taxable income prior to receiving the cash proceeds of the accreted discount at maturity. If we do not have other funds available in these situations we could be required to borrow funds on unfavorable terms, sell investments at disadvantageous prices or distribute amounts that would otherwise be invested in future acquisitions to make distributions sufficient to enable us to pay out enough of our taxable income to satisfy the REIT distribution requirement and to avoid corporate income tax and the 4% excise tax in a particular year. These alternatives could increase our costs or reduce our stockholders' equity. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our ability to grow, which could adversely affect the value of our common stock.
We may in the future choose to pay dividends in our own stock, in which case you may be required to pay income taxes in excess of the cash dividends you receive.
We may in the future distribute taxable dividends that are payable in cash and shares of our common stock at the election of each stockholder. Taxable stockholders receiving such dividends will be required to include the full amount of the dividend as ordinary income to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, stockholders may be required to pay income taxes with respect to such dividends in excess of the cash dividends received. If a U.S. stockholder sells the stock that it receives as a dividend in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, depending on the market price of our stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to certain non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold U.S. tax with respect to such dividends, including in respect of all or a portion of such dividend that is payable in stock. In addition, if a significant number of our stockholders determine to sell shares of our common stock in order to pay taxes owed on dividends, it may put downward pressure on the trading price of our common stock.


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Even if we remain qualified as a REIT, we may face other tax liabilities that reduce our cash flow.
Even if we remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to certain federal, state and local taxes on our income and assets, including taxes on any undistributed income, tax on income from some activities conducted as a result of a foreclosure, excise taxes, state or local income, property and transfer taxes, such as mortgage recording taxes, and other taxes. In addition, in order to meet the REIT qualification requirements, prevent the recognition of certain types of non-cash income, or to avert the imposition of a 100% tax that applies to certain gains derived by a REIT from dealer property or inventory, we may hold some of our assets through our TRS or other subsidiary corporations that will be subject to corporate level income tax at regular rates. In addition, if we lend money to a TRS, the TRS may be unable to deduct all or a portion of the interest paid to us, which could result in an even higher corporate level tax liability. Any of these taxes would decrease cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
Complying with REIT requirements may cause us to forgo otherwise attractive opportunities.
To remain qualified as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, we must continually satisfy tests concerning, among other things, the sources of our income, the nature and diversification of our assets, the amounts that we distribute to our stockholders and the ownership of our stock. We may be required to make distributions to stockholders at disadvantageous times or when we do not have funds readily available for distribution, and may be unable to pursue investments that would be otherwise advantageous to us in order to satisfy the source-of-income or asset-diversification requirements for qualifying as a REIT. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our ability to make and, in certain cases, to maintain ownership of, certain attractive investments.
Complying with REIT requirements may force us to liquidate otherwise attractive investments.
To remain qualified as a REIT, we must ensure that at the end of each calendar quarter, at least 75% of the value of our assets consists of cash, cash items, government securities and qualified REIT real estate assets. The remainder of our investment in securities (other than government securities and qualified real estate assets) generally cannot include more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer or more than 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer. In addition, in general, no more than 5% of the value of our assets (other than government securities and qualified real estate assets) can consist of the securities of any one issuer, and no more than 25% of the value of our total securities can be represented by securities of one or more TRSs. If we fail to comply with these requirements at the end of any calendar quarter, we must correct the failure within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter or qualify for certain statutory relief provisions to avoid losing our REIT qualification and suffering adverse tax consequences. As a result, we may be required to liquidate from our investment portfolio otherwise attractive investments. These actions could have the effect of reducing our income and amounts available for distribution to our stockholders.
The failure of assets subject to repurchase agreements to qualify as real estate assets could adversely affect our ability to remain qualified as a REIT.
We enter into certain financing arrangements that are structured as sale and repurchase agreements pursuant to which we nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase these assets at a later date in exchange for a purchase price. Economically, these agreements are financings that are secured by the assets sold pursuant thereto. We believe that we would be treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of any such sale and repurchase agreement notwithstanding that such agreement may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the sale and repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT.
Distributions to tax-exempt investors may be classified as unrelated business taxable income.
Neither ordinary nor capital gain distributions with respect to our common stock nor gain from the sale of common stock should generally constitute unrelated business taxable income to a tax-exempt investor. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. In particular:
part of the income and gain recognized by certain qualified employee pension trusts with respect to our common stock may be treated as unrelated business taxable income if shares of our common stock are predominantly held by qualified employee pension trusts, and we are required to rely on a special look-through rule for purposes of meeting one of the REIT ownership tests, and we are not operated in a manner to avoid treatment of such income or gain as unrelated business taxable income;
part of the income and gain recognized by a tax-exempt investor with respect to our common stock would constitute unrelated business taxable income if the investor incurs debt in order to acquire the common stock;

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part or all of the income or gain recognized with respect to our common stock by social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts and qualified group legal services plans which are exempt from federal income taxation under the Internal Revenue Code may be treated as unrelated business taxable income; and
to the extent that we are (or a part of us, or a disregarded subsidiary of ours, is) a "taxable mortgage pool," or if we hold residual interests in a REMIC, a portion of the distributions paid to a tax-exempt stockholder that is allocable to excess inclusion income may be treated as unrelated business taxable income.
Liquidation of assets may jeopardize our REIT qualification or create additional tax liability for us.
To remain qualified as a REIT, we must comply with requirements regarding the composition of our assets and our sources of income. If we are compelled to liquidate our investments to repay obligations to our lenders, we may be unable to comply with these requirements, ultimately jeopardizing our qualification as a REIT, or we may be subject to a 100% tax on any resultant gain if we sell assets that are treated as dealer property or inventory.
Complying with REIT requirements may limit our ability to hedge effectively and may cause us to incur tax liabilities.
The REIT provisions of the Internal Revenue Code could substantially limit our ability to hedge our liabilities. Any income from a properly designated hedging transaction we enter into to manage risk of interest rate changes with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets generally does not constitute "gross income" for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income tests. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions is likely to be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both of the gross income tests. As a result of these rules, we may have to limit our use of advantageous hedging techniques or implement those hedges through our TRS. This could increase the cost of our hedging activities because our TRS would be subject to tax on gains or expose us to greater risks associated with changes in interest rates than we would otherwise want to bear. In addition, losses in our TRS will generally not provide any tax benefit, except for being carried forward against future taxable income in the TRS.
Uncertainty exists with respect to the treatment of our TBAs for purposes of the REIT asset and income tests.
We purchase and sell agency mortgage-backed securities through TBAs and recognize income or gains from the disposition of those TBAs, through dollar roll transactions or otherwise, and may continue to do so in the future. While there is no direct authority with respect to the qualification of TBAs as real estate assets or U.S. Government securities for purposes of the 75% asset test or the qualification of income or gains from dispositions of TBAs as gains from the sale of real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property) or other qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we treat our TBAs as qualifying assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests, and we treat income and gains from our TBAs as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, based on an opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP substantially to the effect that (i) for purposes of the REIT asset tests, our ownership of a TBA should be treated as ownership of the underlying agency securities, and (ii) for purposes of the 75% REIT gross income test, any gain recognized by us in connection with the settlement of our TBAs should be treated as gain from the sale or disposition of the underlying agency securities. Opinions of counsel are not binding on the IRS, and no assurance can be given that the IRS will not successfully challenge the conclusions set forth in such opinions. In addition, it must be emphasized that the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is based on various assumptions relating to our TBAs and is conditioned upon fact-based representations and covenants made by our management regarding our TBAs. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert that such assets or income are not qualifying assets or income. If the IRS were to successfully challenge the opinion of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to remain qualified as a REIT if a sufficient portion of our assets consists of TBAs or a sufficient portion of our income consists of income or gains from the disposition of TBAs.
Qualifying as a REIT involves highly technical and complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex Internal Revenue Code provisions for which only limited judicial and administrative authorities exist. Even a technical or inadvertent violation could jeopardize our REIT qualification. Our qualification as a REIT depends on our satisfaction of certain asset, income, organizational, distribution, stockholder ownership and other requirements on a continuing basis. In addition, our ability to satisfy the requirements to remain qualified as a REIT depends in part on the actions of third parties over which we have no control or only limited influence, including in cases where we own an equity interest in an entity that is classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes.



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The tax on prohibited transactions will limit our ability to engage in transactions, including certain methods of structuring CMOs, which would be treated as prohibited transactions for federal income tax purposes.
Net income that we derive from a prohibited transaction is subject to a 100% tax. The term "prohibited transaction" generally includes a sale or other disposition of property (including agency securities, but other than foreclosure property, as discussed below) that is held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business by us or by a borrower that has issued a shared appreciation mortgage or similar debt instrument to us. We could be subject to this tax if we were to dispose of or structure CMOs in a manner that was treated as a prohibited transaction for federal income tax purposes.
We intend to conduct our operations at the REIT level so that no asset that we own (or are treated as owning) will be treated as, or as having been, held for sale to customers, and that a sale of any such asset will not be treated as having been in the ordinary course of our business. As a result, we may choose not to engage in certain transactions at the REIT level, and may limit the structures we utilize for our CMO transactions, even though the sales or structures might otherwise be beneficial to us. In addition, whether property is held "primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business" depends on the particular facts and circumstances. No assurance can be given that any property that we sell will not be treated as property held for sale to customers, or that we can comply with certain safe-harbor provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that would prevent such treatment. The 100% tax does not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a TRS or other taxable corporation, although such income will be subject to tax in the hands of the corporation at regular corporate rates. We intend to structure our activities to avoid prohibited transaction characterization.
New legislation or administrative or judicial action, in each instance potentially with retroactive effect, could make it more difficult or impossible for us to remain qualified as a REIT.
The present federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial or administrative action at any time, which could affect the federal income tax treatment of an investment in us. The federal income tax rules dealing with REITs constantly are under review by persons involved in the legislative process, the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department, which results in statutory changes as well as frequent revisions to regulations and interpretations. Revisions in federal tax laws and interpretations thereof could affect or cause us to change our investments and commitments and affect the tax considerations of an investment in us.

Risks Related to Our Business Structure
Loss of our exemption from regulation pursuant to the Investment Company Act would adversely affect us.
We conduct our business so as not to become regulated as an investment company under the Investment Company Act in reliance on the exemption provided by Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act. Section 3(c)(5)(C), as interpreted by the staff of the SEC, requires that: (i) at least 55% of our investment portfolio consist of "mortgages and other liens on and interest in real estate," or "qualifying real estate interests," and (ii) at least 80% of our investment portfolio consist of qualifying real estate interests plus "real estate-related assets."
In satisfying this 55% requirement, based on pronouncements of the SEC staff, we treat agency mortgage-backed securities issued with respect to an underlying pool of mortgage loans in which we hold all of the certificates issued by a pool, or a "whole pool", as qualifying real estate interests. However, the real estate related assets that we acquire are limited by the provisions of the Investment Company Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. If the SEC determines that any of these securities are not qualifying interests in real estate or real estate-related assets, adopts a contrary interpretation with respect to these securities or otherwise believes we do not satisfy the above exceptions or changes its interpretation of the above exceptions, we could be required to restructure our activities or sell certain of our assets. We may be required at times to adopt less efficient methods of financing certain of our mortgage related investments and we may be precluded from acquiring certain types of higher yielding securities. The net effect of these factors would be to lower our net interest income. If we fail to qualify for an exemption from registration as an investment company or an exclusion from the definition of an investment company, our ability to use leverage would be substantially reduced. Our business will be materially and adversely affected if we fail to qualify for this exemption from regulation pursuant to the Investment Company Act.
We are highly dependent on information and communications systems. Any systems failures could significantly disrupt our business, which may, in turn, negatively affect our operations and the market price of our common stock and our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders.
Our business is highly dependent on communications and information systems. Any failure or interruption of our or our Manager's systems could cause delays or other problems in our securities trading activities, which could have a material adverse

30



effect on our operating results and negatively affect the market price of our common stock and our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders.
Changes in laws or regulations governing our operations or our failure to comply with those laws or regulations may adversely affect our business.
We are subject to regulation by laws at the local, state and federal level, including securities and tax laws and financial accounting and reporting standards. These laws and regulations, as well as their interpretation, may be changed from time to time. Accordingly, any change in these laws or regulations or the failure to comply with these laws or regulations could have a material adverse impact on our business. Certain of these laws and regulations pertain specifically to REITs.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock
The market price and trading volume of our common stock may be volatile.
The market price of our common stock may be highly volatile and be subject to wide fluctuations. In addition, the trading volume in our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. The stock market has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected the market price of many companies in industries similar or related to ours and that have been unrelated to these companies' operating performances. If the market price of our common stock declines significantly, you may be unable to resell your shares at a gain. Further, fluctuations in the trading price of our common stock may adversely affect the liquidity of the trading market for our common stock and, in the event that we seek to raise capital through future equity financings, our ability to raise such equity capital.
We cannot assure you that the market price of our common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly in the future. Some of the factors that could negatively affect our share price or result in fluctuations in the price or trading volume of our common stock include:
actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results or distributions;
changes in our earnings estimates or publication of research reports about us or the real estate or specialty finance industry;
increases in market interest rates that lead purchasers of our shares of common stock to demand a higher yield;
changes in market valuations of similar companies;
adverse market reaction to any increased indebtedness we incur in the future;
issuance of additional equity securities;
actions by institutional stockholders;
additions or departures of key management personnel, or changes in our relationship with our Manager or American Capital;
speculation in the press or investment community;
price and volume fluctuations in the stock market from time to time, which are often unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies;
changes in regulatory policies, tax laws and financial accounting and reporting standards, particularly with respect to REITs, or applicable exemptions from the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended;
actual or anticipated changes in our dividend policy and earnings or variations in operating results;
any shortfall in revenue or net income or any increase in losses from levels expected by securities analysts;
decreases in our net asset value per share;
loss of major repurchase agreement providers; and
general market and economic conditions.
Future offerings of debt securities, which would rank senior to our common stock upon our liquidation, and future offerings of equity securities, which would dilute our existing stockholders and may be senior to our common stock for the purposes of dividend and liquidating distributions, may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
In the future, we may raise capital through the issuance of debt or equity securities. Upon liquidation, holders of our debt securities and preferred stock, if any, and lenders with respect to other borrowings will be entitled to our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. Additional equity offerings may dilute the holdings of our existing stockholders or reduce the market price of our common stock, or both. Our preferred stock, if issued, could have a preference on liquidating distributions or a preference on dividend payments that could limit our ability to pay dividends to the holders of our common stock. Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock, or the perception that these sales could occur, could have a material adverse effect on the price of our common stock. Because our decision to issue debt or equity securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings.

31



Thus holders of our common stock bear the risk of our future offerings reducing the market price of our common stock and diluting the value of their stock holdings in us.
Future sales of shares of our common stock may depress the price of our shares.
We cannot predict the effect, if any, of future sales of our common stock or the availability of shares for future sales on the market price of our common stock. Any sales of a substantial number of our shares in the public market, or the perception that sales might occur, may cause the market price of our shares to decline.     
We have not established a minimum dividend payment level and we cannot assure you of our ability to pay dividends in the future.
We intend to pay quarterly dividends and to make distributions to our stockholders in amounts such that all or substantially all of our taxable income in each year is distributed to our stockholders. We have not established a minimum dividend payment level and the amount of our dividend will fluctuate. Our ability to pay dividends may be adversely affected by the risk factors described herein. All distributions will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our earnings, our financial condition, the requirements for REIT qualification and such other factors as our Board of Directors may deem relevant from time to time. We may not be able to make distributions in the future or our Board of Directors may change our dividend policy in the future. In addition, some of our distributions may include a return of capital. To the extent that we decide to pay dividends in excess of our current and accumulated tax earnings and profits, such distributions would generally be considered a return of capital for federal income tax purposes. A return of capital reduces the basis of a stockholder's investment in our common stock to the extent of such basis and is treated as capital gain thereafter.
An increase in market interest rates may cause a material decrease in the market price of our common stock.
One of the factors that investors may consider in deciding whether to buy or sell shares of our common stock is our distribution rate as a percentage of our share price relative to market interest rates. If the market price of our common stock is based primarily on the earnings and return that we derive from our investments and income with respect to our investments and our related distributions to stockholders, and not from the market value of the investments themselves, then interest rate fluctuations and capital market conditions are likely to affect adversely the market price of our common stock. For instance, if market rates rise without an increase in our distribution rate, the market price of our common stock could decrease as potential investors may require a higher distribution yield on our common stock or seek other securities paying higher distributions or interest. In addition, rising interest rates would result in increased interest expense on our variable rate debt, thereby reducing cash flow and our ability to service our indebtedness and pay distributions.
The stock ownership limit imposed by the Internal Revenue Code for REITs and our amended and restated certificate of incorporation may restrict our business combination opportunities.
 
To qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code, not more than 50% in value of our outstanding stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code to include certain entities) at any time during the last half of each taxable year in which we qualify as a REIT. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, with certain exceptions, authorizes our Board of Directors to take the actions that are necessary and desirable to qualify as a REIT. Pursuant to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, no person may beneficially or constructively own more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of our common or capital stock. Our Board of Directors may grant an exemption from this 9.8% stock ownership limitation, in its sole discretion, subject to such conditions, representations and undertakings as it may determine are reasonably necessary. Pursuant to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our Board of Directors has the power to increase or decrease the percentage of common or capital stock that a person may beneficially or constructively own. However, any decreased stock ownership limit will not apply to any person whose percentage ownership of our common or capital stock, as the case may be, is in excess of such decreased stock ownership limit until that person's percentage ownership of our common or capital stock, as the case may be, equals or falls below the decreased stock ownership limit. Until such a person's percentage ownership of our common or capital stock, as the case may be, falls below such decreased stock ownership limit, any further acquisition of common stock will be in violation of the decreased stock ownership limit. The ownership limits imposed by the tax law are based upon direct or indirect ownership by “individuals,” but only during the last half of a tax year. The ownership limits contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation apply to the ownership at any time by any “person,” which term includes entities. These ownership limitations are intended to assist us in complying with the tax law requirements, and to minimize administrative burdens. However, these ownership limits might also delay or prevent a transaction or a change in our control that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders.
 


32



The stock ownership limitation contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation generally does not permit ownership in excess of 9.8% of our common or capital stock, and attempts to acquire our common or capital stock in excess of these limits will be ineffective unless an exemption is granted by our Board of Directors.
 
As described above, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation generally prohibits beneficial or constructive ownership by any person of more than 9.8% (by value or by number of shares, whichever is more restrictive) of our common or capital stock, unless exempted by our Board of Directors. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation's constructive ownership rules are complex and may cause the outstanding stock owned by a group of related individuals or entities to be deemed to be constructively owned by one individual or entity. As a result, the acquisition of less than these percentages of the outstanding stock by an individual or entity could cause that individual or entity to own constructively in excess of these percentages of the outstanding stock and thus be subject to our amended and restated certificate of incorporation's ownership limit. Any attempt to own or transfer shares of our common or preferred stock (if and when issued) in excess of the ownership limit without the consent of the Board of Directors will result in the shares being automatically transferred to a charitable trust or, if the transfer to a charitable trust would not be effective, such transfer being treated as invalid from the outset.
 
Anti-takeover provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws could discourage a change of control that our stockholders may favor, which could also adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
 
Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws may make it more difficult and expensive for a third party to acquire control of us, even if a change of control would be beneficial to our stockholders. We could issue a series of preferred stock to impede the completion of a merger, tender offer or other takeover attempt. The anti-takeover provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws may impede takeover attempts, or other transactions, that may be in the best interests of our stockholders and, in particular, our common stockholders. In addition, the market price of our common stock could be adversely affected to the extent that provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws discourage potential takeover attempts, or other transactions, that our stockholders may favor.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
 
None.

Item 2. Properties
 
We do not own any property. Our executive offices are located in Bethesda, Maryland in office space shared with American Capital.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings  
From time to time, we may be involved in various claims and legal actions arising in the ordinary course of business. As of December 31, 2012, we had no legal proceedings.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.



33



PART II.

Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
Quarterly Stock Prices and Dividend Declarations
 
Our common stock is listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “AGNC”. As of January 31, 2013, we had 1,057 stockholders of record. Most of the shares of our common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders.
 
The following table sets forth the range of high and low sales prices of our common stock as reported on The NASDAQ Global Select Market and dividends declared on our common stock for fiscal years 2012 and 2011:
 
 
Common Stock
 
Sales Prices
 
Dividends Declared 

High 
Low
 
2012
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
35.16

$
28.08

 
$
1.25

Third Quarter
$
36.77

$
30.30

 
$
1.25

Second Quarter
$
33.95

$
29.60

 
$
1.25

First Quarter
$
31.17

$
28.08

 
$
1.25

2011
 

 

 
 

Fourth Quarter
$
29.21

$
22.84

 
$
1.40

Third Quarter
$
30.34

$
22.03

 
$
1.40

Second Quarter
$
30.76

$
27.70

 
$
1.40

First Quarter
$
30.68

$
28.02

 
$
1.40

 
We intend to pay quarterly dividends and to distribute to our stockholders all of our annual taxable income in a timely manner. This will enable us to qualify for the tax benefits accorded to a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code. We have not established a minimum dividend payment level and our ability to pay dividends may be adversely affected for the reasons described under the caption “Risk Factors.” All distributions will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on our earnings, our financial condition, maintenance of our REIT status and such other factors as our Board of Directors may deem relevant from time to time.
 
The following table summarizes dividends declared for fiscal years 2012 and 2011 and their related tax characterization:
 
 
 
 
Tax Characterization
Dividends Declared
 
Dividends Declared Per Share
 
Ordinary Income Per Share
 
Long-Term Capital Gains Per Share
Fiscal year 2012
 
$
5.00

 
$
4.5092

 
$
0.4908

Fiscal year 2011
 
$
5.60

 
$
5.3324

 
$
0.2676



Our stock transfer agent and registrar is Computershare Investor Services. Requests for information from Computershare can be sent to Computershare Investor Services, P.O. Box 43078, Providence, RI 02940-3078 and their telephone number is 1-800-733-5001.

Stock Repurchase Program
 
The following table presents information with respect to purchases of our common stock made during the three months ended December 31, 2012, by us or any “affiliated purchaser” of us, as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Exchange Act (in millions, except per share amounts):

34



 
Total Number of Shares Purchased (1)
 
Average Net Price Paid Per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs (2)
 
Maximum Number of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
November 13-15, 2012
2.7
 
$
29.00

 
2.7
 
N/A
___________________________
1.
All shares were purchased by us pursuant to the stock repurchase program described in footnote 2 below.
2.
In October 2012, our Board of Directors adopted a plan that may provide for stock repurchases of up to $500 million of our outstanding shares of common stock through December 31, 2013

 
Equity Compensation Plan Information
 
We have adopted a long term stock incentive plan, or Incentive Plan, to provide for the issuance of equity-based awards, including stock options, restricted stock units and unrestricted stock awards to our independent directors.
 
The following table provides information as of December 31, 2012 concerning shares of our common stock authorized for issuance under our existing Incentive Plan.
Plan Category
 
Number of securities to be issued upon exercise of outstanding options, warrants and rights
 
Weighted average exercise price of outstanding options, warrants and rights
 
Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans (excluding securities reflected in the first column of this table)
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders (1)
 
21,500
 
$

 
62,500
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders
 
 

 
Total
 
21,500
 
$

 
62,500
_________________________________________________________
1.
Represents unvested shares of restricted stock awarded to our independent directors. 

Performance Graph
 
The following graph and table compare a stockholder's cumulative total return, assuming $100 invested at May 15, 2008, with the reinvestment of all dividends, as if such amounts had been invested in: (i) our common stock; (ii) the stocks included in the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index (“S&P 500”); (iii) the stocks included in the FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REIT Index; (iv) an index of selected issuers in our Agency REIT Peer group, composed of Annaly Capital Management, Inc., Anworth Mortgage Asset Corporation, Capstead Mortgage Corporation, Hatteras Financial Corp. and CYS Investments, Inc.


35



 
 
 
December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
American Capital Agency
 
$
362.22

 
$
301.60

 
$
254.26

 
$
192.42

 
$
125.51

S&P 500
 
$
114.35

 
$
98.57

 
$
96.54

 
$
83.90

 
$
66.34

FTSE NAREIT Mortgage REITs
 
$
142.75

 
$
119.07

 
$
122.01

 
$
99.53

 
$
79.86

Agency REIT Peer group
 
$
160.61

 
$
160.58

 
$
155.94

 
$
131.96

 
$
103.02


 
The information in the share performance graph and table has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but neither its accuracy nor its completeness can be guaranteed. The historical information set forth above is not necessarily indicative of future performance. Accordingly, we do not make or endorse any predictions as to future share performance.  
Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
 
The following selected financial data are derived from our audited financial statements for fiscal years 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and the period from May 20, 2008 (date operations commenced) through December 31, 2008. The selected financial data should be read in conjunction with the more detailed information contained in the Financial Statements and Notes thereto and “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
($ in millions, except per share amounts)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investment portfolio, at fair value
$
85,245

 
$
54,683

 
$
13,510

 
$
4,300

 
$
1,573

Total assets
$
100,453

 
$
57,972

 
$
14,476

 
$
4,626

 
$
1,656

Repurchase agreements and other debt
$
75,415

 
$
47,735

 
$
11,753

 
$
3,842

 
$
1,346

Total liabilities
$
89,557

 
$
51,760

 
$
12,904

 
$
4,079

 
$
1,398


36



Total stockholders' equity
$
10,896

 
$
6,212

 
$
1,572

 
$
547

 
$
258

Net asset value per common share (1)
$
31.64

 
$
27.71

 
$
24.24

 
$
22.48

 
$
17.20

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fiscal Year
 
For the period from May 20, 2008 through December 31, 2008
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
Statement of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest income
$
2,109

 
$
1,109

 
$
253

 
$
128

 
$
55

Interest expense (2)
512

 
285

 
76

 
44

 
25

Net interest income
1,597

 
824

 
177

 
84

 
30

Other (loss) income, net (2)
(157
)
 
26

 
130

 
46

 
11

Expenses
144

 
74

 
19

 
11

 
6

Income before tax
1,296

 
776

 
288

 
119

 
35

Provision for income taxes, net
19

 
6

 

 

 

Net income
1,277

 
770

 
288

 
119

 
35

Dividend on preferred stock
10

 

 

 

 

Net income available to common shareholders
$
1,267

 
$
770

 
$
288

 
$
119

 
$
35

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income
$
1,277

 
$
770

 
$
288

 
$
119

 
$
35

Other comprehensive income (loss) (2)
1,244

 
379

 
(88
)
 
45

 
(25
)
Comprehensive income
2,521

 
1,149

 
200

 
164

 
10

Dividend on preferred stock
10

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive income available to common shareholders
$
2,511

 
$
1,149

 
$
200

 
$
164

 
$
10

Weighted average common shares outstanding-basic and diluted
303.9

 
153.3

 
36.5

 
17.5

 
15.0

Net income per common share-basic and diluted
$
4.17

 
$
5.02

 
$
7.89

 
$
6.78

 
$
2.36

Comprehensive income per common share-basic and diluted
$
8.26

 
$
7.50

 
$
5.49

 
$
9.33

 
$
0.65

Dividends declared per common share
$
5.00

 
$
5.60

 
$
5.60

 
$
5.15

 
$
2.51

 
 
 
 
 
Fiscal Year
 
For the period from May 20, 2008 through December 31, 2008
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
Other Data (unaudited)*:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average agency securities, at par
$
71,002

 
$
33,243

 
$
6,992

 
$
2,668

 
$
1,733

Average agency securities, at cost
$
74,588

 
$
34,726

 
$
7,335

 
$
2,752

 
$
1,772

Average total assets, at fair value (3)
$
86,172

 
$
38,548

 
$
8,100

 
$
3,086

 
$
1,826

Average repurchase agreements and other debt
$
68,810

 
$
31,840

 
$
6,865

 
$
2,542

 
$
1,530

Average stockholders' equity (4)
$
9,473

 
$
4,169

 
$
859

 
$
373

 
$
266

Average coupon (5)
3.90
 %
 
4.42
 %
 
5.03
 %
 
5.77
 %
 
6.10
 %
Average asset yield (6)
2.82
 %
 
3.19
 %
 
3.44
 %
 
4.64
 %
 
5.04
 %
Average cost of funds (7)
(1.11
)%
 
(1.00
)%
 
(1.11
)%
 
(1.71
)%
 
(2.63
)%
Average net interest rate spread
1.71
 %
 
2.19
 %
 
2.33
 %
 
2.93
 %
 
2.41
 %
Average coupon (as of period end)
3.69
 %
 
4.23
 %
 
4.70
 %
 
5.28
 %
 
6.11
 %
Average asset yield (as of period end)
2.61
 %
 
3.07
 %
 
3.31
 %
 
3.99
 %
 
4.98
 %
Average cost of funds (as of period end)
(1.22
)%
 
(1.13
)%
 
(1.03
)%
 
(1.17
)%
 
(3.52
)%
Average net interest rate spread (as of period end)
1.39
 %
 
1.94
 %
 
2.28
 %
 
2.82
 %
 
1.46
 %
Net comprehensive income return on average common equity - annualized (8)
26.9
 %
 
27.6
 %
 
23.3
 %
 
43.8
 %
 
5.9
 %

37



Economic return on common equity - annualized (9)
32.2
 %
 
37.4
 %
 
32.7
 %
 
60.6
 %
 
5.5
 %
Leverage (average during the period)(10)
7.3:1

 
7.6:1

 
8.0:1

 
6.8:1

 
5.7:1

Leverage (as of period end)(11)
7.0:1

 
7.9:1

 
7.8:1

 
7.3:1

 
5.2:1

Expenses % of average assets(12)
0.17
 %
 
0.19
 %
 
0.23
 %
 
0.36
 %
 
0.51
 %
Expenses % of average equity(13)
1.52
 %
 
1.77
 %
 
2.19
 %
 
2.99
 %
 
3.49
 %
 
  *
Unless otherwise noted, average numbers for each period are weighted based on days on our books and records. All percentages are annualized.
1.
Net asset value per common share calculated as our total stockholders' equity, less our 8.000% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock liquidation preference of $25 per preferred share, divided by our number of common shares outstanding as of period end.
2.
We voluntarily discontinued hedge accounting for our interest rate swap agreements as of September 30, 2011. Please refer to Notes 2 and 5 of our Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information regarding our discontinuance of hedge accounting.
3.
Average total assets calculated using a combination of daily weighted averages and average month-end balances when daily weighted averages are not available.
4.
Weighted average stockholders' equity calculated as the average month-ended stockholders' equity during the period.
5.
Weighted average coupon calculated by dividing the total coupon (or cash) interest income on agency securities by the daily weighted average agency securities held for the period.
6.
Weighted average asset yield calculated by dividing our total interest income on agency securities, including amortization of premiums and discounts, by the weighted average amortized cost basis of our agency securities for the period.
7.
Cost of funds includes repurchase agreements, debt of consolidated VIEs and interest rate swaps, but excludes interest rate swap termination fees and costs associated with other supplemental hedges such as interest rate swaptions and short U.S. Treasury or TBA positions. Weighted average cost of funds for the period was calculated by dividing our total cost of funds by our average repurchase agreements and debt of consolidated VIEs outstanding.
8.
Net comprehensive income return on average common equity for the period was calculated by dividing comprehensive income available to common shareholders by our average shareholders' equity, net of the 8.000% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock liquidation preference on an annualized basis.
9.
Economic return on common equity represents the sum of the change in net asset value per common share over the period and dividends declared on common stock during the period over the beginning net asset value per common share on an annualized basis.
10.
Leverage during the period was calculated by dividing our daily weighted average repurchase agreements and debt of consolidated VIEs outstanding for the period by our average stockholders' equity for the period on an annualized basis.
11.
Leverage at period end was calculated by dividing the sum of the amount outstanding under our repurchase agreements, net receivable / payable for unsettled agency securities and debt of consolidated VIEs by our total stockholders' equity at period end.
12.
Expenses as a % of average total assets calculated by dividing our total expenses by our average total assets for the period on an annualized basis.
13.
Expenses as a % of average stockholders' equity calculated by dividing our total expenses by our average stockholders' equity on an annualized basis.


Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) is designed to provide a reader of American Capital Agency Corp.’s consolidated financial statements with a narrative from the perspective of management. Our MD&A is presented in five sections:
Executive Overview
Financial Condition
Results of Operations
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Forward-Looking Statements

EXECUTIVE OVERVIEW
The size and composition of our investment portfolio depends on investment strategies implemented by our Manager, the availability of investment capital and overall market conditions, including the availability of attractively priced investments and suitable financing to appropriately leverage our investment portfolio. Market conditions are influenced by, among other things, current levels of and expectations for future levels of, interest rates, mortgage prepayments, market liquidity, housing prices, unemployment rates, general economic conditions, government participation in the mortgage market, evolving regulations or legal settlements that impact servicing practices or other mortgage related activities.
Trends and Recent Market Impacts
On September 13, 2012, the Federal Reserve announced their third quantitative easing program, commonly known as QE3, and extended their guidance to keep the federal funds rate at "exceptional low levels" through at least mid-2015. QE3 entails large-scale purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities at the pace of $40 billion per month in addition to the Federal Reserve's existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities into new agency mortgage-backed security purchases. The program is open-ended in nature, and is intended to put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help make the broader financial conditions more accommodative.

38



The Federal Reserve plans to continue their purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities and employ other policy tools, as appropriate, until they foresee substantial improvement in the outlook for the U.S. labor market.
The Federal Reserve's purchases are and likely will continue to be concentrated in newly-issued, fixed-rate agency mortgage-backed securities (i.e., the part of the mortgage market with the greatest impact on mortgage rates offered to borrowers). The combined total purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities by the Federal Reserve were approximately $70 billion per month during the fourth quarter of 2012, representing approximately half of the average monthly gross issuance of fixed-rate agency mortgage-backed securities. Prices across the agency mortgage-backed security spectrum generally increased following the Federal Reserve's announcement of QE3, with the lowest coupon 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate agency mortgage-backed securities outperforming higher coupon securities. During the fourth quarter of 2012, some of the initial gains reversed; however, as of December 31, 2012 prices generally remained above those seen prior to the announcement of QE3. The table below summarizes interest rates and prices of generic fixed-rate agency mortgage-backed securities as of the end of each respective quarter:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 31, 2012
 
December 31, 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
vs.
 
vs.
Interest Rate/Security Price (1)
 
December 31, 2012
 
September 30,
 2012
 
June 30, 2012
 
March 31, 2012
 
December 31,
 2011
 
June 30, 2012
(Pre - QE3)
 
December 31, 2011
LIBOR:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1-Month
 
0.21%
 
0.21%
 
0.25%
 
0.24%
 
0.30%
 
--0.04

bps
 
--0.09

bps
3-Month
 
0.31%
 
0.36%
 
0.46%
 
0.47%
 
0.58%
 
--0.15

bps
 
--0.27

bps
6-Month
 
0.51%
 
0.64%
 
0.73%
 
0.73%
 
0.81%
 
--0.22

bps
 
--0.30

bps
U.S. Treasury Security Rate:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2-Year U.S. Treasury
 
0.25%
 
0.23%
 
0.30%
 
0.33%
 
0.24%
 
--0.05

bps
 
+0.01

bps
5-Year U.S. Treasury
 
0.72%
 
0.63%
 
0.72%
 
1.04%
 
0.83%
 

bps
 
--0.11

bps
10-Year U.S. Treasury
 
1.76%
 
1.63%
 
1.65%
 
2.21%
 
1.88%
 
+0.11

bps
 
--0.12

bps
Interest Rate Swap Rate:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2-Year Swap
 
0.39%
 
0.37%
 
0.55%
 
0.58%
 
0.73%
 
--0.16

bps
 
--0.34

bps
5-Year Swap
 
0.86%
 
0.76%
 
0.97%
 
1.27%
 
1.22%
 
--0.11

bps
 
--0.36

bps
10-Year Swap
 
1.84%
 
1.70%
 
1.78%
 
2.29%
 
2.03%
 
+0.06

bps
 
--0.19

bps
30-Year Fixed Rate MBS Price:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3.0%
 
$104.84
 
$105.58
 
$102.55
 
$99.67
 
$100.22
 
+$2.29
 
+$4.62
3.5%
 
$106.66
 
$107.25
 
$105.11
 
$102.72
 
$102.88
 
+$1.55
 
+$3.78
4.0%
 
$107.22
 
$107.75
 
$106.44
 
$104.86
 
$105.03
 
+$0.78
 
+$2.19
4.5%
 
$108.03
 
$108.25
 
$107.28
 
$106.38
 
$106.42
 
+$0.75
 
+$1.61
5.0%
 
$108.33
 
$109.06
 
$108.23
 
$108.03
 
$108.03
 
+$0.10
 
+$0.30
5.5%
 
$108.64
 
$109.63
 
$109.08
 
$108.97
 
$108.89
 
-$0.44
 
-$0.25
6.0%
 
$109.22
 
$110.44
 
$109.91
 
$110.20
 
$110.16
 
-$0.69
 
-$0.94
15-Year Fixed Rate MBS Price:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.5%
 
$104.61
 
$105.13
 
$103.09
 
$101.42
 
$101.34
 
+$1.52
 
+$3.27
3.0%
 
$105.61
 
$106.00
 
$104.77
 
$103.56
 
$103.28
 
+$0.84
 
+$2.33
3.5%
 
$106.14
 
$106.41
 
$105.66
 
$104.92
 
$104.58
 
+$0.48
 
+$1.56
4.0%
 
$107.00
 
$106.91
 
$106.34
 
$106.00
 
$105.50
 
+$0.66
 
+$1.50
4.5%
 
$107.55
 
$107.84
 
$107.17
 
$107.20
 
$106.59
 
+$0.38
 
+$0.96
 ________________________
1.
Price information is for generic instruments only and is not reflective of our specific portfolio holdings. Price information can vary by source. Prices in the table above obtained from a combination of Bloomberg and dealer indications. Interest rates obtained from Bloomberg.
We expect during periods in which the Federal Reserve purchases significant volumes of mortgages, yields on agency mortgage-backed securities will be lower and refinancing volumes will be higher than would have been absent QE3. Since returns on agency mortgage-backed securities are highly sensitive to prepayment speeds, we have positioned our investment portfolio towards agency securities that we believe have favorable prepayment attributes. As of December 31, 2012, 77% of our fixed-rate investment portfolio was comprised of agency securities backed by lower loan balance mortgages (pools backed by original loan balances of up to $150,000) and loans originated under HARP (pools backed by 100% refinance loans with original loan-to-value ratios of greater than 80%), which we believe have a lower risk of prepayment relative to generic agency securities. The remainder of our portfolio as of December 31, 2012 was primarily comprised of low coupon, new issuance

39



fixed-rate agency securities. (See Financial Condition below for further details of our portfolio composition as of December 31, 2012).
The following table summarizes recent prepayment trends for our portfolio and, for comparison, Fannie Mae 2011 30-year 4.0% fixed-rate generic mortgage-backed securities for fiscal year 2012.
Annualized Monthly Constant Prepayment Rates (1)
 
Jan. 2012
 
Feb. 2012
 
Mar. 2012
 
Apr. 2012
 
May
 2012
 
June 2012
 
July 2012
 
Aug. 2012
 
Sept. 2012
 
Oct. 2012
 
Nov. 2012
 
Dec. 2012
AGNC portfolio
 
8%
 
8%
 
12%
 
12%
 
10%
 
8%
 
8%
 
9%
 
11%
 
9%
 
10%
 
10%
Fannie Mae 2011 30-year 4.0% fixed-rate MBS (2)
 
11%
 
13%
 
19%
 
21%
 
14%
 
15%
 
21%
 
29%
 
35%
 
32
%
 
34%
 
35%
 ________________________
1.
Weighted average actual one-month annualized CPR released at the beginning of the month based on securities held/outstanding as of the preceding month-end.
2.
Source: JP Morgan.

Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates
Our critical accounting estimates relate to the recognition of interest income and the fair value of our investments and derivatives. Certain of these items involve estimates that require management to make judgments that are subjective in nature. We rely on our Manager's experience and analysis of historical and current market data in order to arrive at what we believe to be reasonable estimates. Under different conditions, we could report materially different amounts based on such estimates. The remainder of our significant accounting policies are described in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Interest Income
The effective yield on our agency securities is highly impacted by our estimate of future prepayments. We accrue interest income based on the outstanding principal amount of our investment securities and their contractual terms and we amortize or accrete premiums and discounts associated with the purchase of investment securities into interest income over the projected lives of our securities, including contractual payments and estimated prepayments, using the interest method. The weighted average cost basis of our securities as of December 31, 2012 was 105.6% of par value; therefore, faster actual or projected prepayments can have a meaningful negative impact, while slower actual or projected prepayments can have a meaningful positive impact, on our asset yields.
Future prepayment rates are difficult to predict and we rely on a third-party service provider and our Manager's experience and analysis of historical and current market data in order to arrive at what we believe to be reasonable estimates. Our third-party service provider estimates prepayment speeds using models that incorporate the forward yield curve, current mortgage rates and mortgage rates of the outstanding loans, age and size of the outstanding loans, loan-to-value ratios, volatility and other factors. We review the prepayment speeds estimated by the third-party service and compare the results to market consensus prepayment speeds, if available. We also consider historical prepayment speeds and current market conditions to validate the reasonableness of the prepayment speeds estimated by the third-party service and, based on our Manager’s judgment, we may make adjustments to their estimates.
We review our actual and anticipated prepayment experience on at least a quarterly basis and effective yields are recalculated when differences arise between (i) our previously estimated future prepayments and (ii) actual prepayments to date plus current estimated future prepayments. If the actual and estimated future prepayment experience differs from our prior estimate of prepayments, we are required to record an adjustment in the current period to the amortization or accretion of premiums and discounts for the cumulative difference in the effective yield through the reporting date.
The most significant factor impacting prepayment rates on our securities is changes to long-term interest rates. Prepayment rates generally increase when interest rates fall and decrease when interest rates rise. However, there are a variety of other factors that may impact the rate of prepayments on our securities. Prepayments can also occur when borrowers sell the property and use the sale proceeds to prepay the mortgage as part of a physical relocation. In addition, changes to the GSE's underwriting standards, further modifications to existing U.S. Government sponsored programs such as HARP, or the implementation of new programs can have a significant impact on the rate of prepayments. Further, GSE buyouts of loans in imminent risk of default,

40



loans that have been modified, or loans that have defaulted will generally be reflected as prepayments on agency securities and also increase the uncertainty around our estimates. Consequently, under different conditions, we could report materially different amounts. Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk in this Annual Report on Form 10-K includes the estimated change in our net interest income should interest rates go up or down by 50 and 100 basis points, assuming the yield curves of the rate shocks will be parallel to each other and the current yield curve.
Fair Value of Investment Securities
We estimate the fair value of our investment securities based on a market approach using Level 2 inputs from third-party pricing services and non-binding dealer quotes. The third-party pricing services use pricing models that incorporate such factors as coupons, primary and secondary mortgage rates, prepayment speeds, spread to the Treasury and interest rate swap curves, convexity, duration, periodic and life caps and credit enhancements. The dealer quotes incorporate common market pricing methods, including a spread measurement to the Treasury or interest rate swap curve as well as underlying characteristics of the particular security including coupon, periodic and life caps, rate reset period, issuer, additional credit support and expected life of the security. We generally obtain 3 to 6 quotes or prices (referred to as "marks") per investment security. We attempt to validate marks obtained from pricing services and broker dealers by comparing them to our recent completed transactions involving the same or similar securities on or near the reporting date. Changes in the market environment and other events that may occur over the life of our investments may cause the gains or losses ultimately realized on these investments to be different than the valuations currently estimated.
Derivative Financial Instruments/Hedging Activity

We maintain a risk management strategy, under which we may use a variety of derivative instruments to economically
hedge some of our exposure to market risks, including interest rate and prepayment risk. Our risk management objective is to reduce fluctuations in net book value over a range of market conditions. The principal instruments that we use to hedge a portion of our exposure to interest rate and prepayment risks are interest rate swaps and swaptions. We also purchase or sell TBAs and specified agency securities on a forward basis as well as U.S. Treasury securities and U.S. Treasury futures contracts; purchase or write put or call options on TBA securities; and invest in other types of mortgage derivatives, such as interest-only securities, and synthetic total return swaps, such as the Markit IOS Synthetic Total Return Swap Index (“Markit IOS Index”).

We recognize all derivatives as either assets or liabilities on the balance sheet, measured at fair value. During the third quarter of 2011, we elected to discontinue hedge accounting for our interest rate swaps. Accordingly, subsequent to the third quarter of 2011, all changes in the fair value of our derivative instruments are reported in earnings in our consolidated statement of comprehensive income in gain (loss) on derivatives and other securities, net during the period in which they occur.
    
The use of derivatives creates exposure to credit risk relating to potential losses that could be recognized in the event that the counterparties to these instruments fail to perform their obligations under the contracts. We attempt to minimize this risk by limiting our counterparties to major financial institutions with acceptable credit ratings, monitoring positions with individual counterparties and adjusting posted collateral as required.
We estimate the fair value of interest rate swaps using a third-party pricing model. The third-party pricing model incorporates such factors as the LIBOR curve and the pay rate on our interest rate swaps. We also incorporate both our own and our counterparties’ nonperformance risk in estimating the fair value of our interest rate swaps. In considering the effect of nonperformance risk, we consider the impact of netting and credit enhancements, such as collateral postings and guarantees, and have concluded that our own and our counterparty risk is not significant to the overall valuation of these agreements.
We estimate the fair value of interest rate swaptions using a third-party pricing model based on the fair value of the future interest rate swap that we have the option to enter into as well as the remaining length of time that we have to exercise the option, adjusted for non-performance risk, if any.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
A summary of recent accounting pronouncements is included in Note 2 of the accompanying consolidated financial statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


41



FINANCIAL CONDITION
As of December 31, 2012 and 2011, our investment portfolio consisted of $85.2 billion and $54.7 billion, respectively, of agency mortgage-backed securities ("agency MBS"). The following tables summarize certain characteristics of our agency MBS investment portfolio as of December 31, 2012 and 2011 (dollars in millions): 
 
 
December 31, 2012
 
Agency MBS Classified as Available-for-Sale ("AFS")
 
Par Value
 
Amortized
Cost
 
Amortized
Cost Basis
 
Fair Value
 
Weighted Average
 
December 2012 Projected Life CPR (1)
Coupon
 
Yield
 
Age (Months)
Investments By Issuer:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fannie Mae
 
$
58,912

 
$
62,120

 
105.4%
 
$
63,687

 
3.59%
 
2.60%
 
13
 
10%
Freddie Mac
 
19,336

 
20,284

 
104.9%
 
20,758

 
3.58%
 
2.58%
 
14
 
12%
Ginnie Mae
 
238

 
248

 
104.2%
 
254

 
3.77%
 
1.60%
 
24
 
19%
Total / Weighted Average
 
$
78,486

 
$
82,652

 
105.3%
 
$
84,699

 
3.59%
 
2.59%
 
13
 
11%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investments By Security Type:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fixed-Rate
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 ≤ 15-Year
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lower Loan Balance (2)
 
$
15,686

 
$
16,296

 
103.9%
 
$
16,871

 
3.57%
 
2.53%
 
20
 
13%
HARP (3)
 
1,312

 
1,363

 
103.9%
 
1,404

 
3.53%
 
2.46%
 
17
 
14%
Other (2009-2012 Vintages) (4)
 
11,134

 
11,612

 
104.3%
 
11,670

 
2.70%
 
1.62%
 
7
 
13%
Other (Pre 2009 Vintages)
 
31

 
33

 
104.7%
 
34

 
4.61%
 
2.71%
 
88
 
16%
Total ≤ 15-Year
 
28,163

 
29,304

 
104.1%
 
29,979

 
3.22%
 
2.17%
 
15
 
13%
Total 20-Year:
 
1,517

 
1,591

 
104.9%
 
1,616

 
3.33%
 
2.37%
 
8
 
10%
30-Year:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lower Loan Balance (2)
 
19,004

 
20,169

 
106.1%
 
20,736

 
3.76%
 
2.84%
 
13
 
9%
HARP (3)
 
22,897

 
24,316

 
106.2%
 
24,998

 
3.84%
 
2.87%
 
11
 
9%
Other (2009-2012 Vintages) (4)
 
5,510

 
5,815

 
105.5%
 
5,875

 
3.63%
 
2.70%
 
9
 
10%
Other (Pre 2009 Vintages) (4)
 
394

 
422

 
107.1%
 
431

 
5.62%
 
3.64%
 
87
 
19%
Total 30-Year
 
47,805

 
50,722

 
106.1%
 
52,040

 
3.80%
 
2.84%
 
12
 
9%
Total Fixed-Rate
 
77,485

 
81,617

 
105.3%
 
83,635

 
3.58%
 
2.59%
 
13
 
11%
Adjustable-Rate
 
837

 
865

 
103.4%
 
891

 
4.12%
 
2.40%
 
43
 
22%
CMO
 
164

 
170

 
103.2%
 
173

 
3.75%
 
2.85%
 
66
 
15%
Total / Weighted Average
 
$
78,486

 
$
82,652

 
105.3%
 
$
84,699

 
3.59%
 
2.59%
 
13
 
11%
 
 
December 31, 2012
Agency MBS Remeasured at Fair Value Through Earnings
 
Underlying
Unamortized
Principal
Balance
 
Amortized
Cost
 
Fair Value
 
Weighted Average
 
December 2012 Projected Life CPR (1)
Coupon
 
Yield
 
Age (Months)
Interest-Only Strips
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fannie Mae
 
$
1,332

 
$
245

 
$
249

 
5.82%
 
6.98%
 
30
 
16%
Freddie Mac
 
328

 
55

 
43

 
5.60%
 
11.84%
 
82
 
17%
Principal-Only Strips
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fannie Mae
 
302

 
241

 
254

 
—%
 
3.17%
 
14
 
9%
Total / Weighted Average
 
$
1,962

 
$
541

 
$
546

 
4.89%
 
5.78%
 
28
 
13%
_______________________
1.
Portfolio yield incorporates a projected life CPR assumption based on forward rate assumptions as of December 31, 2012.
2.
Lower loan balance securities represent pools backed by a maximum original loan balance of up to $150,000. Our lower loan balance securities had a weighted average original loan balance of $98,000 and $101,000 for 15-year and 30-year securities, respectively, as of December 31, 2012.
3.
HARP securities are defined as pools backed by100% refinance loans with loan-to-value ratios ("LTV") ≥ 80%. Our HARP securities had a weighted average LTV of 95% and 104% for 15-year and 30-year securities, respectively, as of December 31, 2012.
4.
Other 15-year and 30-year securities include $1.2 billion and $920 million, respectively, of securities backed by loans with original loan balances ≤ $175,000.

42





    
 
 
December 31, 2011
Agency MBS Classified as AFS
 
Par Value
 
Amortized
Cost
 
Amortized
Cost Basis
 
Fair Value
 
Weighted Average
 
December 2011 Projected Life CPR (1)
Coupon
 
Yield
 
Age (Months)
Investments By Issuer:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fannie Mae
 
$
37,232

 
$
38,891

 
104.5%
 
$
39,567

 
4.07%
 
3.02%
 
11
 
14%
Freddie Mac
 
13,736

 
14,342

 
104.4%
 
14,664

 
4.21%
 
3.16%
 
13
 
14%
Ginnie Mae
 
258

 
270

 
104.7%
 
273

 
3.74%
 
1.71%
 
12
 
25%
Total / Weighted Average
 
$
51,226

 
$
53,503

 
104.4%
 
$
54,504

 
4.11%
 
3.05%
 
12
 
14%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investments By Security Type:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fixed-Rate
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 ≤ 15-Year:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lower Loan Balance (2)
 
$
16,033

 
$
16,626

 
103.7%
 
$
17,027

 
3.81%
 
2.84%
 
12
 
12%
HARP (3)
 
1,160

 
1,208

 
104.2%

1,235

 
3.93%
 
2.87%
 
10
 
12%
Other (4)
 
1,814

 
1,873

 
103.2%
 
1,898

 
3.54%
 
2.58%
 
10
 
15%
Total ≤ 15-Year
 
19,007

 
19,707

 
103.7%
 
20,160

 
3.79%
 
2.82%
 
12
 
13%
Total 20-Year:
 
5,462

 
5,659

 
103.6%
 
5,710

 
3.71%
 
2.72%
 
4
 
16%
30-Year:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lower Loan Balance (2)
 
4,577

 
4,847

 
105.9%
 
4,927

 
4.48%
 
3.40%
 
15
 
11%
HARP (3)
 
11,676

 
12,318

 
105.5%
 
12,591

 
4.48%
 
3.50%
 
9
 
11%
Other (2009-2011 Vintages)
 
6,987

 
7,307

 
104.6%
 
7,380

 
4.24%
 
3.17%
 
6
 
15%
Other (Pre 2009 Vintages)
 
655

 
697

 
106.3%