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« Ron Paul Does Not Like Elizabeth Warren Or The New Consumer Protection Agency (VIDEO) | Main | The Bullish Case For Silver Appreciation - Arithmetic, Human Nature, Supply & Demand »

Hypocrisy Watch: House GOP Leadership Suddenly Changes Tune On Fannie, Freddie Overhaul

That was quick.  Anyone surprised by this...


Source - WSJ

GOP Shifts on Fannie, Freddie Overhaul

Republicans Now Say Quickly Privatizing Mortgage Giants Would Squeeze Access to Home Loans and Depress Sales, Prices

Earlier this year, leading House Republicans proposed to privatize mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac or place them in receivership starting in two years.  Now, as Republicans prepare to assume control of the House next week, they aren't in as big a rush, cautioning that withdrawing government support in the housing market should be gradual.

"We recognize that some things can be done overnight and other things can't be," said Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.), incoming chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee, which oversees Fannie and Freddie. "You have to recognize what the impact would be on the fragile housing market as it stands right now."

Cautious statements from key Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee are a shift from the debate over the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul last spring and summer, when Republicans blasted the Obama administration for omitting Fannie and Freddie from the bill.

Republicans were backing a bill by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) to start cutting the government's ties to the mortgage giants or begin winding them down in two years; if they were deemed financially viable, they would become fully private within five years.

"Of all the dumb regulation that caused our economic crisis, none was dumber than that which created the (Fannie and Freddie) monopolies," Mr. Hensarling said in March.

Many Republicans now concede that a speedy exit may not be practical, because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have such a dominant position in the nation's housing market. Mr. Garrett said he has "not established a specific timeframe for winding them down."

Ever since the housing bubble burst, the federal government has been the main source of support for new mortgage lending. Fannie, Freddie along with the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs guaranteed nearly 90% of home loans made in the first three quarters of 2010, according to the trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. A hasty end to the government's support of Fannie and Freddie would mean fewer Americans could get home loans, causing home sales and prices to drop even further and pushing taxpayers' cost for rescuing the mortgage giants even higher, said Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R., Texas), a former banker and housing developer who serves on the House Financial Services Committee. "You'd cause Freddie and Fannie to have even larger losses than they'd already have," Mr. Neugebauer said.

One way to lessen the government's role would be to reduce the maximum size of loans Fannie and Freddie can purchase. The amount is now set at $729,750 in high-cost areas such as New York and San Francisco. Reducing that limit could encourage more investors to purchase mortgage-backed securities that don't have the government's backing and therefore carry somewhat higher yields.

With home prices sinking, lawmakers and the Obama administration face intense pressure from the real estate and banking industries to maintain some federal support.

"We don't believe that the private market — right now — is willing or able to provide the liquidity that's necessary to get us out of this," said Joe Stanton, chief lobbyist for the National Association of Home Builders. "To erode that support right now would be a disaster," said Vince Malta, a real estate agent in San Francisco and a vice president of the National Association of Realtors. The Treasury Department's long-awaited proposal for overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is expected to be released in January, and Republicans say they are eager to examine it. Administration officials have been weighing whether to include a some sort of federal backstop that could work like a catastrophic insurance fund to be used in the event of a housing market bust.

Continue reading...



Chris Whalen on Fannie & Freddie...

Fannie Mae is now the nation's largest landscaping company...




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Reader Comments (11)

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Dec 30, 2010 at 11:47 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
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Dec 30, 2010 at 11:48 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
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The latest high-profile criticism of the Kremlin's stance ...

Dec 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
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Dec 30, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

« Chris Whalen: "Fannie Mae Is Now The Largest Landscaping Company In The U.S." (VIDEO) »
Dec 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Nothing surprises me anymore.

http://www.startribune.com/business/112637499.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O <img src=

JP Morgan Sued in Ponzi case.
Dec 30, 2010 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Obama administration officials are struggling to reach consensus on a future path for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, unable to agree on whether the government should provide a guarantee for new mortgages when the market stabilizes, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Dec 30, 2010 at 2:31 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Dec 30, 2010 at 2:32 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
"House GOP Leadership Suddenly Changes Tune On Fannie, Freddie Overhaul."
Another example of Democrat or Republican campaign promises and proposed changes are absolutely meaningless... Once they control the House or the Senate they work for the special interests with equal diligence. As we have seen in several of the last elections, From the President on down, say whatever it takes to win the election even if it's a bald faced lie. The politicians know The American Electorate has their heads so deep in the sand That by the time they figure out they have been lied to it won't matter anymore.
Dec 30, 2010 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSagebrush
well said sagebrush...you are of course exactly right...

(Reuters) - Government support for the housing market should be cautiously withdrawn and not be rushed, Scott Garrett, the incoming chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services subcommittee, told the Wall Street Journal.

Jan 3, 2011 at 12:21 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

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