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Tag Archives: American Enterprise Institute

FHA May Soon Need $50B in Bailout Funds: Study

The GSEs remain a mainstay in debates over the role of the government in housing, but some now say the Federal Housing Administration may take a turn as the next agency in need of bailout funds. A new study by Joseph Gyourko, a University of Pennsylvania real estate and finance professor, highlights future peril for the agency, predicting that it may need as much as $50 billion in federal funds over the next several years just to stay solvent. Some analysts say the real threat is not from a bailout but from sapped liquidity and credit for homeowners.

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Senator Proposes Bill to Wean GSEs Off Federal Funds

Fielding more pressure for housing finance reform, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to decouple government assistance from the GSEs and shore up private-sector involvement in mortgage markets. The bill, titled the Residential Mortgage Market and Privatization Act, proposes gradually reducing the percentage of principal in the GSEs├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó mortgage-backed securities, streamlining underwriting standards and origination databases, and removing federal guarantees to create a much-discussed to-be-announced market.

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Policymakers See GSE-Free Future as Freddie Asks for $6B

The head of the agency that regulates the GSEs addressed one lawmaker's recent proposal to eliminate the federal lifeline for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Thursday even as the latter filed staggering third-quarter losses and requested another $6 billion in taxpayer funds. Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco and several others testified before the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, which heard the chief regulator describe why the federal government needs to slowly phase out taxpayer support for the GSEs.

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Economists: Fed Buy-Up Will Do Little for Housing

Fed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke again made waves Wednesday with an announcement that the central bank plans to sell $400 billion in short-term Treasuries to keep a heel on still-low interest rates and offset widespread fears that the U.S. economy may soon enter a downturn. The move follows successive efforts from the Fed, which more recently pledged to keep interest rates low until 2013. Speaking with MReport, economists largely panned the effort.

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Latest Suit Adds to MBS Woes for JPMorgan Chase

In another twist for the nation's largest mortgage lenders, Wells Fargo upped the ante against JPMorgan Chase & Co. by filing a suit in a Delaware court to order the latter to buy back over $558 million in bad mortgage-backed securities. Multiple news outlets offered up the latest tizzy Thursday, with Wells escalating the case after JPMorgan refused to budge on the repurchases. The loans stem from the Bear Stearns Mortgage Funding Trust 2007-AR2, otherwise known as the EMC unit, which JPMorgan acquired in 2008.

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Dodd-Frank Chugs Forward for Feds Despite Political Hay

As Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) made waves this week with legislation to curb voting rights for Fed governors, key provisions under his namesake law, the Dodd-Frank Act, manifested themselves in decisions by major federal regulators. The FDIC and Federal Reserve rubber-stamped a rule that require the nation's largest banks to send up blueprints for bankruptcy, while the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau steadily moved forward with the uniform mortgage disclosure form.

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Bush, Lawmakers Mull Housing Finance, Past and Future

Lawmakers butted heads over their intentions for GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a hearing Tuesday, with Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee seeking private-sector solutions while a number of Democrats called the federal government a needed buttress in housing finance. MReport captured a look back by former President George W. Bush at the federal bailouts orchestrated by his administration during the financial crisis.

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Global Shocks Unlikely to Directly Crimp Housing

Mortgage application volume suffered a drubbing Wednesday, even as the U.S. economy fell behind in important global rankings and the euro zone crisis continues to trouble investors. With numerous economists attributing lows for consumer confidence to a bevy of international concerns, MReport spoke with analysts to spot any troubling signs for housing as the global economy wobbles. The verdict: Market watchers should keep an eye on euro zone fallout for mortgage rates and credit supply.

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FHFA Sues 17 Companies Over MBS Losses

Acting on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency filed suits Friday against 17 of the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest banks and firms to recover losses stemming from mortgage-backed securities. At stake: tens of billions of dollars in assets, according to market watchers. Multiple news outlets fixed losses in mortgage-backed securities for the GSEs at $41 billion. The federal agency announced that it filed the suits on behalf of the GSEs in a New York federal court.

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