This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Obama, Romney Skip the Whole Fannie, Freddie Thing: Street Whispers

Stocks in this article: FNMAFMCC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A discussion on the role of government in housing was conspicuously missing from the first Presidential debate on Wednesday, which means we still don't have any ideas from Washington on how to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The word housing was mentioned all of three times during the debate, according to the transcript.

President Obama noted that housing had begun to rise. Governor Romney attacked Dodd-Frank and said tougher regulations and the uncertainty around what constitutes a qualified mortgage had hurt housing.

But there was no talk of solutions for the housing mess, despite the fact that more than 10 million homeowners remain underwater. There was zero mention of principal reductions or refinancing.

Maybe rising home prices has made housing less of an election issue. Trulia economist Jed Kolko notes that home prices are rising in six out of the seven swing states on a year-on-year basis, which is positive for President Obama.

Governor Romney might find it tougher now to criticize the Obama administration for failed housing policies.

Or maybe the candidates realize that any policy fix they offer for housing would mean someone -- investor or lender or taxpayer -- has to lose and that would be politically unpalatable.

But both sides have said they want to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two big enablers of the housing bubble. And this is something that resonates with voters, after a $180 billion bail out of the GSEs.

Yet, in a debate focused on regulation and the role of government, both candidates avoided talking about how they would reduce the role of government intervention in housing.

The role of government in housing has grown bigger since the crisis. More than 90% of mortgages continue to be originated by the agencies.

In fact, "Reducing the role of government" was the first talking point in the Romney-Ryan plan to end the housing crisis.

"The Romney-Ryan Plan will completely end "too-big-to-fail" by reforming the GSEs," the campaign's white paper which was released recently said. "Rather than just talk about reform, a Romney-Ryan Administration will protect taxpayers from additional risk in the future by reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and provide a long-term, sustainable solution for the future of housing finance reform in our country."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,827.75 +12.81 0.07%
S&P 500 2,072.83 +5.80 0.28%
NASDAQ 4,787.3170 +29.0650 0.61%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs