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Short Takes: MBA Chief Advocates for a Future

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navycmdr Member Level  Tuesday, 10/20/15 03:40:53 PM
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Short Takes: MBA Chief Advocates for a Future that Includes Fannie and Freddie / One GSE Sin Revealed / A Brain Drain at Fannie / Coming Soon: Conforming Limits from the FHFA

By Paul Muolo, Carisa Chappell pmuolo@imfpubs.com, cchappell@imfpubs.com

At the annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association, trade group President Dave Stevens made it clear (in his prepared remarks) that he sees a future that includes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We must advocate for a future state that would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide liquidity in the market, but also ensure we don't repeat the sins of the past, Stevens said. But getting there, of course, is the hard part.

According to Stevens prepared remarks for the trade groups annual secondary conference in 2014, he noted, Under the terms of conservatorship, it is legally impossible for the GSEs to recapitalize. There is no way back to their original state. FHFA can only put Fannie and Freddie into receivership.

It requires Congressional action to reform and stabilize the system
One of Fannie's and Freddie's reputed sins was donating large sums of money to politicians who, in turn, did their blocking-and-tackling on Capitol Hill.

Any time Congress tried to rein the two in regulation wise, they beat back the effort without fail. One of the first things the Federal Housing Finance Agency did after the historic takeover of the GSEs in 2008 was eliminate their ability to lobby elected officials

It's a new day with more news of a Fannie Mae executive leaving the mortgage giant. The latest departure involves Piper Neal Beveridge, director of strategic initiatives at the GSE. Beveridge has been hired by mortgage software giant Ellie Mae as vice president of government and strategic relations.

A few days ago, loanDepot announced that it hired Dan Lader as senior vice president in charge of technology, portfolio delivery. He joined the nonbank from Fannie where he served as head of capital markets and finance technology. Does this suggest a brain drain of talent at the GSE

Not really, said spokesman Andrew Wilson. Some degree of turnover is normal, he said. Having worked at other companies in the past, I'd say that our turnover rates are generally pretty low. That being said, we work hard to recruit and retain talented people and we will continue to prioritize that

The FHFA has finalized plans to use its existing expanded data House Price Index for tracking home prices to set the maximum conforming loan limit for Fannie and Freddie. During a comment period, industry participants largely supported the plan, but questioned the extent to which conforming loan limits should be adjusted. The FHFA said it will release the maximum conforming loan limits for 2016 using the expanded-data HPI in late November

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