Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fannie and Freddie's fate depends on whether Trump goes with John or Jeb

Yahoo Finance reports:
Who will Trump choose: John or Jeb?

No, not for a Cabinet slot, but rather in the matter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). It’s one of the more contradictory policy decisions confronting the incoming administration. Trump supporter and hedge fund manager John Paulson would like to see Fannie and Freddie reconstituted. But Jeb Hensarling, the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has a plan that would kill them.

To back up a bit, the two companies, which guarantee the interest and principal on roughly two-thirds of American mortgages, have long been the backbone of homeownership. During the 2008 financial crisis, with home prices tumbling, mortgage holders defaulting, and the stock prices of the GSEs tumbling, they were taken over by the government and put into a state called conservatorship, where they have languished for the last eight years.

The Obama administration had zero interest in fixing them. In fact, that administration arguably made things worse in 2012, when the GSEs’ overseers changed the rules of the bailout, which initially just granted the government “senior” preferred stock that paid a nice dividend.
The struggle with America's "un-free market " in housing.