Skip to comments.Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Allowed To Delay Billions In Losses (Now What Do We Do?)
Posted on 08/24/2013 8:34:44 AM PDT by whitedog57
Welcome students to my Fall 2013 Fixed-Income Securities class. Since mortgage-backed securities are a big part of the US fixed-income market, lets start with the largest players in the market: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Fannie Mae is located in Washington DC and Freddie Mac is located in McLean Virginia (hence puzzling why Virginia Senator Mark Warner (Democrat) is interested in winding down both enterprises.
The regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (and the Federal Home Loan Banks) is the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). And FHFA has a watchdog, the Inspector General. So the watchdog has a watchdog.
The Inspector General released a report that claims Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are masking billions of dollars in losses.
According to Reuters: The report, written by the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency and reviewed by Reuters, said the FHFAs timeframe for mortgage finance companies Fannie and Freddie to have up to two years to recognize the cost of mortgages delinquent at least 180 days was inordinately long.
The change in the accounting treatment of these delinquent loans potentially could require Fannie and Freddie, which have rebounded to enormous profitability in the past two years as the housing market recovered, to charge off billions of additional dollars related to loans, the inspector generals report stated.
The FHFAs Inspector General says that Fannie, Freddie should recognize bad loan costs immediately.
This comes at an inopportune time for the beleaguered mortgage giants since Congress is debating the future of housing finance, particularly the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The good news? House prices are rising quickly in many parts of the country as measured by all the major house price indices. Rising house prices can help reduce mortgage default propensities as well as help reduce losses in case of foreclosure.
Other good news? In July, mortgage delinquencies were down nearly 4% month-over-month, and almost 9% since last year, to a total of 6.41% overall.
So, the housing and mortgage markets are healing, albeit slowly.
The question facing Congress is what to do with the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
Here are competing bills and suggestions for housing finance reform.
1. US Senates Corker-Warner bill. Here is the Corker-Warner bill in the US Senate.
Here is the American Bankers assessment of Corker-Warner. This bill was NOT endorsed by President Obama.
2. US House of Representatives PATH bill. Here is the PATH bill.
3. Super HUD. Another school of thought is to fold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into HUD. This idea makes my head explode. I am certain this is the approach that President Obama favors. Alas, I havent seen any bill proposing this approach.
The debate boils down to 1) a government guarantee or backstop and 2) preserving the fixed-rate mortgage.
4. Status quo (nothing is done).
As long as there is a government guarantee, there will be risky lending. The WSJ reported on Tuesday, June 4 that the FHA had conducted a previously undisclosed stress test which found FHA losses could hit $115 billion under the Federal Reserve bank stress test. Get the point?
Prediction? Either nothing is done (4) or the Senate and House negotiate a third way: risk-sharing with government.
Risk sharing is clearly a second best approach (with no government insurance as the best approach). This approach is dangerous because government will always want to raid the cookie jar and expand risky lending for political reasons. Just ask our two local cookie jars, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that we constantly lobbied to purchase risky loans from lenders. nhsdream2
Here is the infamous letter from Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi to President Bush claiming that safety and soundness for Fannie and Freddie should be relaxed for the affordable housing mission: ranklettr
We have been concerned that the Administrations legislative proposal regarding the GSEs would weaken affordable housing performance by the GSEs, by emphasizing only safety and soundness. While the GSEs affordable housing mission is not in any way incompatible with their safety and soundness, an exclusive focus on safety and soundness is likely to come, in practice, at the expense of affordable housing.
In other words, roll the dice on affordable housing even if it crashes the house of cards. Charming.
I wish we’d fold them all away: HUD, Fannie & Freddie—and dump them into the unfunded abyss.
OFFSHORE WIRE TRANSFER ALERT: Obama says its time to turn the page on Fannie and Freddie MarketWatch | 7/24/13 | MarketWatch / FR Posted by illiac
Obama's speech on the US economy spelled out the beginning of the end for federally-controlled mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Well work with both parties to turn the page on Fannie and Freddie, and build a housing finance system thats rock-solid for future generations, Obama said, according to a copy of his prepared remarks
The House Financial Services Committee approved a bill on Tuesday that would get rid of the firms in five years, to be replaced by a National Mortgage Market Utility to help securitize mortgages.(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.marketwatch.com
ADDENDUM---what Obama left out of his remarks Wall Street Journal report on page A15---article entitled Treasurys Fannie Mae Heist.
WSJ: The Federal government is seizing the substantial profits of the government-chartered mortgage firms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taking for itself the property and potential gains of private investors the government induced to help prop up these companies. This conduct is intolerable. A scathing article follows--a must read.
ANOTHER POSSIBILITY......L/E must be getting very close to the mtge fraudsters in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (O's gotta show "he cares" ---b/c he's paranoid about getting latino votes). Read on.
SUB-PRIME MORTGAGE SCAMS--MASSIVE MORTGAGE FRAUD ON CAPITOL HILL:
The Congressional Hispanic Institute, Inc, is an entity organized by Cong Joe Baca (D-Cali) in his capacity as head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Cong Baca created "HOGAR" (Spanish for home) in 2003 to work with the mortgage industry, F/M, lenders, banks and latino community groups to increase mortgage lending to what savvy observers consider to be unqualified Latinos.
"HOGAR" colluded w/ Cong Baca in what was to become a massive bilking of taxpayers. Cong Baca calculatedly hyped the fact that the national Latino homeownership rate was 47%, compared with 68% for the overall population.
HOGAR was coached to call the figure "alarming," and to say "a concerted effort was required to ensure that by the end of the decade Latinos will share equally in the American Dream of home ownership."
HOGAR and Cong Baca conned the public, failing to note that most of the "dreamers" were illegals, citizens of Third World countries who had violated US borders.
Predictably, HOGAR colluded w/ co-conspirators which included:
(a) shaky mortgage companies that ran into big trouble;
(b) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both now under federal control after billions in taxpayer bailouts;
(c) Countrywide Financial Corp., sold to Bank of America Corp;
(d) Washington Mutual Inc., taken over by the US government and sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; and,
(e) New Century Financial Corp. and Ameriquest Mortgage Corp, both now defunct, killed by defaulted subprime Latino mortgages.
HOGAR's ties to the subprime mortgage industry were substantial. Bribery and self-dealing were rampant:
<><> Companies that donated $150,000 to Cong Baca got the right to have their own research fellow who would conduct fraudulent studies, which were cunningly used by industry lobbyists to pump lending.
<><> Bribery and extortion in the form of $100,000 annual donations to Cong Baca, for which HOGAR provided phony news releases from Cong Baca's Hispanic Caucus promoting a lender's commercial products to the Latino market,
<><> The most shocking example of bribery well-substantitated by Hogar's literature..... HOGAR announced it worked with Freddie Mac on a self-serving two-year examination of Latino homeownership in 63 congressional districts.
The "study" found Hispanic ownership on the rise thanks to "new flexible mortgage loan products" that the industry was adopting at the urging of Cong Baca's collusive coterie.
<><> HOGAR conned lenders into even more lenient down-payment and underwriting standards.
<><> As the subprime debacle unfolded, HOGAR declined repeated requests for comment despite the economic havoc their activities precipitated.
The mortgage schemes demonstrated the criminal activities of border violators with multiple identities---perhaps violent, terrorist-connected foreigners---colluding and conspiring to defraud private companies and public entities. And mortgage racketeering enterprises which employed sub rosa finance and business practices to carry out deceptions and frauds.
The alleged ring of swindlers---a Congresman, individuals with multiple identities, banks, insurance companies, mortgage brokers--might be charged with cheating the US govt, taxpayers and bank share holders out of hundreds of millions of dollars via an elaborate web of mortgage and bank frauds.
The mortgage Dreamers used multiple phony identities, fraudulent Social Security numbers, purchased from identity forgers in order to obtain govt-subsidized benefits.
L/E will find that individuals with multiple identities obtained fraudulent mortgages then flipped the houses at ever-higher prices to family member who then absconded to foreign countries, sticking banks (and taxpayers) with hundreds of millions in fraudulent mortgages.
BACKGROUND A Wall Street Journal investigative report related that, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council examination of the borrowing spree, uncovered financial schemes by low-income housing groups, Hispanic lawmakers, a congressional Hispanic housing initiative, mortgage lenders and brokers, all colluding in fraduent schemes to increase homeownership among Latinos with forged documents which enabled massive fraud.
This was not simply the mortgage market at work. It was fueled by avarice, greed, and Congressional enabling fraudulent practices. In 2005 alone, mortgages to Hispanics jumped by 29%; Latinos with multiple fraudulent identities in low-paying jobs obtained subprime mortgages for prime properties---soaring to 169%.
(Research provided by Wall Street Journal. Some material excerpted from the NY Times).
Excerpt ...Ten years ago the typical conforming mortgage required a down payment of 10-20%, and low-down payment mortgages were considered too risky. But then we helped to standardize the 3-5% down payment loan, brought it to global capital markets, and made it available to lenders and communities nationwide. Now low-down payment loans are commonplace. And we just adopted a new variance in our underwriting standards that will make the $500 down payment loan widely available as well...
In 1994, we pledged to provide $1 trillion in capital to ten million underserved families by the end of 2000. Thanks to our housing and industry partners, we met that goal early.
Then in 2000, we launched our American Dream Commitment, a pledge to provide $2 trillion in capital to 18 million underserved families by the year 2010, including $400 billion targeted specifically for minority families (later raised to $700 billion in response to President Bushs Minority Homeownership Initiative). After four of the strongest years in housing and mortgage finance history, weve already surpassed the top-line goals of this commitment. But our work is far from complete.
So in January 2004, we announced our Expanded American Dream Commitment and pledged significant new resources to tackle Americas toughest housing challenges. Our new commitment has three main goals.
First, we will expand access to homeownership for six million first-time home buyers in the next ten years, including 1.8 million minority first-time home buyers.We also will help raise the national minority homeownership rate from 49 percent to 55 percent, with the ultimate goal of closing it entirely.
Second, we will help new and long-term homeowners stay in their homes through a series of initiatives, and commit $15 billion to preserve affordable rental housing and $1.5 billion to support the revitalization of public housing communities.
Third, we will increase the supply of affordable housing and support community development activities in at least 1,000 neighborhoods across the country through our American Communities Fund, and through targeted investments like Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that help finance affordable rental housing.
It is because of initiatives like our Trillion Dollar Commitment and our American Dream Commitment that we have exceeded our HUD affordable housing goals for ten consecutive years. (End Raines excerpt.) (NOTE Raines is a Clinton appointee)
NOTE: Raines was fired for being a crook---cooking the books to get bonuses. But he walked away a multi-millionaire---extorting millions from taxpayers for pensions, bonuses, lifetime healthcare, donations to his fave charites....etc etc, and so on, and so forth, ad infinitum ad nauseaum.
Fannie/Freddie are centerpieces of the criminal enterprise called the Democrat Party-where Dem cronies and collaborators loot the organization, get cushy jobs, bonuses, and the like.
Fannie Maes political machine dispensed campaign contributions, gave jobs to friends and relatives of legislators, hired armies of lobbyists (even paying lobbyists not to lobby against it), paid academics who wrote papers validating the home ownership mania, and spread charitable contributions to housing advocates across the congressional map.
Fannie Mae serves as an industrial-sized patronage factory sharing profits with political allies, spreading taxpayer funds to voting blocslike ethnic groups-and doling out jobsto left-wing academics, Washington has-beens and back- scratching buddies.
Obama insider Fannie Mae exec Jim Johnson got sweetheart loans from shady subprime Countrywide. Pols raked in six- figure salaries as F/F engaged in Enron-style accounting, plunged into debt and helped usher in the subprime housing meltdown through cockamamie lending practices.
Bill Clinton appointed Franklin Raines, Daley and Rahm Emanuel just as the quasi-governmental F/M engaged in rampant book-cooking so that F/M insider could help themselves to massive bonuses.
The Chi/Tribune exposed how political whore Rahm Emanuels profitable stint was low-show w/ no work involved. Emanuel was not even assigned to committees, according to company proxy statements. Immediately upon joining the board, Emanuel and other insiders qualified for $380,000 in stock and options plus a $20,000 annual fee, public records indicate. W/ Wall Street Rahm Emanuel at F/M, accounting tricks were used to mislead shareholders about outsize profits F/M reaped from risky investments.
The goal was to cook the books to keep fraudulent earnings on the books, to make Freddie Mac look profitable on paper- AND to fraudulently obtain humongous annual bonuses for political insiders.
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