Lessons from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

As the government-sponsored mortgage agencies wind down, a former British member of Parliament warns not to forget the mistakes made.

Institutional Investor Magazine

August 23, 2013

By Robert Stowe England

Bipartisan efforts in Washington have been rare of late. Yet there is emerging agreement across the aisle in Congress to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and create a new mortgage finance system with a smaller government role. Even President Barack Obama joined the chorus on August 6 in Phoenix when he called for winding down the two government-sponsored enterprises and replacing them with a new system backstopped by federal insurance but where “private lending should be the backbone.”

Both houses of Congress have introduced new mortgage legislation this summer. In the Senate Tennessee Republican Bob Corker and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner are co-sponsoring the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act. In the House of Representatives, Texas Republican and Financial Services Committee chairman Jeb Hensarling brought forward the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners Act.

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Robert Stowe England is an author and financial journalist who has specialized in writing about financial institutions, financial markets, retirement income issues, and the financial impact of population aging.

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