Fannie and Freddie story updated from 1:04 pm to include statement from BlackRock in eighth paragraph.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Put another nail in the coffin of President Obama's efforts to wind down Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC).
Housing numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday showed a 14.5% drop in new home sales in March, far more than analysts estimated. While some pointed to the cold winter, a more commonly cited culprit was higher prices.
The number is just the latest in a string of discouraging housing data, and it comes less than a week before a scheduled vote on legislation introduced by Sens. Tim Johnson (D, SD) and Mike Crapo (R., ID) aimed at winding down Fannie and Freddie, a stated goal of President Obama.essay April 11 arguing the legislation suffers from a "significant oversight" in that it does not offer any new protections for investors in mortgage securities who were burned during the financial crisis. recently argued it could "open the door wide for runaway corporate exploitation." On the other side of the political spectrum from Nader, Tea Party groups contended in a letter to the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday that despite the fact that Johnson Crapo would wind down Fannie and Freddie, it still offers too big a role for the federal government. And both Nader and the Tea Party groups argue the bill denies the rights of shareholders in Fannie and Freddie. editorial in The Hill Wednesday arguing all the criticism is a sign Johnson and Crapo have "found the legislative 'sweet spot' for housing finance reform." The ex-Senators contend greater certainty around the future of housing "will help make affordable mortgage credit more widely available." But if that were the case it means people who want homes to be more affordable for poor and working class Americans, groups like the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), should be fully behind the bill. The group initially voiced support for Johnson Crapo, but later it, along with several like-minded organizations, described a fairly lengthy list of proposed amendments. After listing those points, the NLIHC statement hopefully alluded to "some speculation that the mark-up may be moved back a week to allow more time to negotiate amendments that address stakeholder concerns." Follow @dan_freed