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
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

On Fannie, Freddie Reform, Wall Street Is Left of Maxine Waters

Both the Corker-Warner bill, the bipartisan reform effort put forward by the Senate Banking Committee and the PATH bill, advanced by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, call for a new mortgage finance system to replace the GSEs.

What's surprising is that these proposals to kill Fannie and Freddie, two agencies that helped subsidize homeownership for decades, have elicited little protest from the far left.

Even Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D.,Calif.), the House Financial Services Committee's top ranking Democrat, who was once an avid supporter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, appears to have accepted a future without the agencies and is proposing an alternative model.

"Both sides of the aisle absolutely believe that we have got to do reform because of what happened with the subprime meltdown that we experienced in this country," she said at a recent housing policy forum organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center. "But I have to tell you, even if I wanted to say 'look how well Fannie and Freddie are doing, let's just leave them alone and let them keep going,' we are past that point now. We can't do that. Despite the fact that they are doing well, everyone remembers what happened. They remember the debt, they remember the meltdown, they remember the foreclosure and the fact that Fannie and Freddie undermined their own [underwriting] criteria when they were challenged."

Waters is expected to introduce a proposal that calls for a cooperative-owned securities issuer that would address the "perverse incentives created by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's ownership structure of private shareholders."

So what makes these big investors think the government will change its mind, given that even the most liberal policymakers are against the status quo?

Perhaps they believe that it is only a matter of time before policymakers are swayed by populist sentiment.

Winding down and replacing the GSEs with a brand new, untested housing finance model could be hugely disruptive to the mortgage market and could destabilize housing, they argue. Does the government really want to risk rocking the housing market, which has just begun to recover?

Even if the government was to continue offering a limited guarantee, analysts say the cost of mortgage credit may rise as much as 100 basis points as private capital would demand a higher return for their risk than the GSEs.

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

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
Stocks Under $10

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

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
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

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

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
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!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
FNMA $2.89 2.12%
FMCC $2.74 1.48%
TSLA $197.12 -3.10%
AAPL $129.34 0.69%
FB $79.65 0.86%

Markets

DOW 18,242.84 +110.14 0.61%
S&P 500 2,113.73 +9.23 0.44%
NASDAQ 4,999.6870 +36.16 0.73%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

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