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  • Federal Housing Finance Agency

    Focus on Eliminating Housing GSEs, Not Giving Them a Duty to Serve

    As Congress continues to delay shutting down the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, affordable housing advocates are ramping up the pressure on the federal government to fund “housing for the poor.” These groups may have good intentions, but their way of thinking is typical of the dangers … More

    Congress Is Right to Keep the Housing Trust Funds Closed

    Affordable housing groups are hoping that new Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) director Mel Watt will reverse course and finally fill two national housing trust funds with money. But, in a preemptive move, Representative Ed Royce (R–CA) has introduced the Pay Back the Taxpayers Act of 2014 (H.R. 3901) that … More

    GSE Reform: FHFA Move to Crowd Out Private Mortgage Capital

    Newly appointed Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mel Watt is delaying the scheduled increases of the guarantee fee that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge mortgage lenders. This misguided move will discourage other firms from competing in the secondary mortgage market Fannie and Freddie charge this guarantee fee (or … More

    Will the Federal Housing Finance Agency Forgive Borrowers’ Debts?

    Today Representative Mel Watt (D–NC) assumes his position as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which manages the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Acting director (since 2009) Ed DeMarco’s departure could mark just the beginning of several key policy shifts at the FHFA, such as … More

    FHA: The Next Round of Housing Bailouts?

    Despite some efforts this year to improve its financial position, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reportedly seek a bailout from the federal government to cover losses on mortgage loans it insures. The FHA will ask taxpayers for a $1.7 billion cash infusion (more than double estimates earlier in the … More

    New Fannie Bond Issue Elevates Need for Higher G-Fees

    As Congress contemplates legislation to end Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government agency running their operations is trying to make that task easier. However, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) seems to have run into trouble with Dodd–Frank regulatory issues, thus making the task of winding down the companies … More

    Lowering Loan Limits: An Overdue Step to Bringing Private Capital Back to Housing

    As legislation moves through Congress to address the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has indicated it will decrease the limit on the size of the loans these institutions can purchase starting in 2014. The FHFA should decrease the loan limit independent of … More

    U.S. Mortgage Market Reform: Corker–Warner Bill Misguided

    Draft legislation by Senators Bob Corker (R–TN) and Mark Warner (D–VA) would wind down federally sponsored housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but it suffers from many of the same problems the system faced over the past two decades. The bill would replace the Federal Housing Finance Agency, … More

    Housing Finance Nominee: Expect Big Government Housing Policies Doomed to Fail

    President Obama nominated Representative Mel Watt (D–NC) as new chief regulator to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), replacing the current acting director Edward DeMarco. Watt has strong support from liberals in both the House and the Senate as a longtime member of the House Financial Services Committee and advocate … More

    A Housing Finance Market Without Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

    What would the potential impact on the economy be if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—the housing finance government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—were eliminated? Our research indicates that winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the mortgage market would have a minimal and predictable effect on the economy. Since 2008, Fannie Mae … More