Sunday, November 30, 2014

Maloni's 12-1-2014 new blog will come out Monday afternoon, after 1:30 PM, owing to some time sensitive, but not earthshaking, content.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Soaring President and Slumming Cabinet Secretaries

Bold Prez & Dumb and Dumber
The Administration was at its schizophrenic zenith last week, and admirable high and a mindless low.

A bold President Obama—facing political obstinacy--announced his totally appropriate  executive order to try and fix our broken immigration system and open our nation’s door to some, not all, of many illegal immigrants and their families.

IMO, the President’s action was necessary because earlier a less conservative Congress refused to approve immigration reform and with GOP control in the House and Senate, juiced by even more Righties, there was little hope of immigration progress. 

The President calculated that a new Congress will not approach immigration in a more thoughtful and moderate way in 2015, so he used his inherent authority to start this ball rolling forward in a constructive and humane way, inviting Congress still to write its own legislation. (Although I think he did with a tone which suggested they also attempt something that is anatomically impossible.) 

The President ignored the GOP threat not to go forward without them and Republicans now will try and make him pay (for doing something on immigration Senate R’s approved a while OK, but who is checking)? 

Given how poorly the GOP Congress has treated Obama, what was there for him to lose? 

He stepped across their line, knocked the brick from their shoulder and told them (paraphrasing), “I want to move forward.” You still can legislate, he told them, “Pass your own immigration bill.” 

We now will hear a list of Obama retaliatory actions the GOP plans to take, which legislation they will hold up or encumber, ditto on Obama appointments, funding, government closure (oh no not that, again), rananna, rananna. 

It hurt them the last time, it will hurt them again, since that kind of behavior detracts from what they claim is their goal to show leadership and responsible governing.

The Star and his Non-Stars 

As Obama shined standing astride his lofty peak, two politically tone deaf minions were fast digging valleys and chopping away at the principle their boss wants to establish, his right to unilateral moves via regulation. 

BHO’s stellar initiative was dragged down by twin  naïve and dud calls by HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, both asking the R Congress to please legislate, again, on mortgage finance reform.

Dumb and Dumber—staring victory in the face—chose to ask Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) and his colleagues to write a new mortgage finance bill which I guess they hoped would look different than Jeb’s last one. That initial Hensarling effort, which barely crept out of the HBC, took the federal government out of the conventional mortgage business and gave all of that mortgage activity and the fate of those consumers to the commercial banks.

Everyone knows bank and their subs are honest, caring institutions, thoughtful about matching families to the right mortgage loans for them, at affordable rates using transparent and understandable marketing and closing terms and costs. ;-) (That’s the symbol for “sarcasm.”) 

Did nobody at the WH or the DNC, SDCC, or DCCC tell the Administration dunderheads they won the GSE fight, since nobody on the Hill, seriously, was talking about new F&F legislation in 2015?  Nobody really wants to open up that political can of worms which fizzled on all of its sponsors earlier this year and create mortgage uncertainty—and voter backlash--in the buildup to a presidential election?

Who Diapers These Guys? 

Did anyone suggest the WH had a clear path to produce far more affordable housing for middle income families, using its recognized executive authority, and didn’t need to start a congressional knife fight, especially when they were armed with a dull plastic knife?  

To underscore that point, earlier in the week, the new SBC ranking minority Senator  Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) called for a new start and fresh review of what in the US mortgage finance system needs fixing , rejecting the old CWJC legislation (which dies with the current Congress),  while expressing skepticism about the need for such a dramatic makeover. 

Even more explicitly, the retiring SBC Chairman, Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), urged Mel Watt, when Watt testified before him on Wednesday, to encourage the WH to move forward using executive authority and rulemaking to change the F&F conservatorship rules. 

Letters from community groups and other housing advocates were sent to Watt/Obama urging the same thing. 

Many observers suggested Congress, not desiring another fight over F&F, was resigned to let this Administration work on the edges of conservatorship and expand the F&F credit box, increasing eligibility and affordability. 

No, We Don’t Want This Win; Instead. We…..

But Castro and Lew—obeying who knows what political instincts (Lew has shown few, while in office, and Castro may be too new to display any)—opted to ask for Hill help.

Maloni to world: “Never ask for advice or help anyone to whom you have to listen!”

Castro and Lew to Congress: “Let’s sit together and produce the F&F successor.” That’s like inviting cannibals to your home for barbecue and only having four hamburgers for your 20 ravenous guests.

Just what the nation needs another politically naïve HUD Secretary. Lew, once a Tip O’Neil protégé, seems to have lost whatever Tip taught him about Democrat constituencies. 

I hoped someone spanked those two misbehaving kids. 

Would Julian Castro pin his political future on any mortgage reform bill the House GOP might pass? Would he advise all of those D 2016 congressional candidates to do the same? 

Or does he think he is smarter, more agile, and a more wizardly negotiator than those Hill conservatives? 

With what does the HUD Secretary have to negotiate? Better yet, Castro first should answer, “What do congressional Republicans want from HUD other than to have it rapidly disappear?” 


What WH D's Look Out for U.S. Mortgagors? 

Does any current Cabinet official think the traditional Democrat constituencies or the new citizens President Obama wants to help settle in this country are best served by Jeb Hensarling and his posse?

Aggressively using inherent regulatory authority to make Fannie and Freddie work better and more flexibly--which virtually every housing finance and real estate industry association wants --will add more to the “Obama Legacy,” than a GOP blessed bank dominated mortgage finance system where the "bigs make all of the rules? 

Are there any adult pols still willing to label themselves Democrats watching these Cabinet guys, because someone should? 

It Ain’t Rocket Science GSE Supporters,
Consider Your Home Plumbing System

Always seeking to educate and illuminate, I share these ideas with those who believe the nation’s future mortgage finance system should have a major doses of F&F in it. (If it works, use it.) 

I’m happy to report that most American consumers and voters—when forced to think about it—do not care what  critics (mistakenly) claim is GSE history? 

They instead think in terms of today and now, when contemplating a mortgage. 

They think about being respected, treated fairly, not getting lender-gamed or manipulated, getting affordable mortgage finance options, and priced equitably and efficiently. 

Small analogy. 

At home, when you draw water from your faucets (I mean those who don’t rely on bottled H20), how much do you ponder, systemically, the blueprint of your house’s plumbing system, connected to the municipal underground piping that gets fed by the locality’s water system?? 

Not often, I suspect.

You want clean water, pouring out of the pipes and taps, devoid of germs, and priced well. 

Fannie and Freddie opponents face an uphill fight to replace two institutions and their market operation which most people like. 

The uphill fight can be made even steeper and more difficult, if F&F advocates keep a few things in mind about the water system.  

If your water system (nee mortgage finance system) works well but has been improved with six years of solid product and systemic regulation--and what you have is safely meeting your water (mortgagor) needs--why scramble to turn it upside down, when the chaos inducing change easily could screw up the water delivery, make it more costly, and far more confusing and unreliable?

The current mortgage finance system works and is being adjusted to work better and support more mortgagors.

There was a reason that behemoth CWJC proposals, filled with uncertainly and confusion proposal, tanked.

Keep those safe water thoughts things in mind.!

What Others Are Saying 

Seth Bornstein writing for Yahoo discusses a new Swiss study which claims banks and their culture encourage smarmy and underhanded behavior.


Oh, Fed, Treasury, OCC and DoJ, say it isn’t so. What a shock! Now someone will claim there is “gambling at Rick’s!”

I guess some of us weren’t imaging things when I—and others—wrote about soft regulations and regulators. 


Me to a Prominent Financial Services Reporter

I exchanged emails last week with a reporter who covers GSE matters for a major publication and chided F&F bank critics (see Financial Services Roundtable and the American Bankers Association) for their myopia. 

First off, the banks—which claim they are “private”-- are into denial, since every segment of the national financial services network is backed by the federal government, none more than the banks with the FDIC insurance behind and attracting most of their working capital. Their benefits and subsidies go far beyond that with the paternal regulatory regime most banks enjoy. (See previous link and shame on the Fed, Treasury, OCC, FDIC and others.)   

Here’s what else I told the writer. 

I am used to "fast and loose" when it comes to F&F and it's not exclusive to any political party. Most Hill denizens have no idea what they are doing or saying, how the mortgage finance system works, or how massive and disruptive the impact would be on the transitional change contained in something akin to CWJC, even if the changes could be agreed upon. Who really needs that? 

Forget one's ideology or political choice, we've created this massive banking system, with a largely compliant regulatory system (the fines mean nothing); trillions of federal dollars supporting it; and institutions can't/won't create a mortgage market absent additional trillions in new federal MBS loss insurance?

What good are those banks?

That’s why I keep saying, just maintain the mortgage system we have--which works fine from a mortgagor perspective--and work at the margins to keep it transparent, efficient and cost-effective.

Gretchen Morgenson, in her NYT column, reports on the Fed’s plans to study itself. Hmm, physician heal thyself?


Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on the desirability of a fresh start for a mortgage system review. 

Bloomberg’s Clea Benson writes about Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) urging Obama Administration to alter conservatorship via executive authority. 


Julian Castro stepping in it.


 Jack Lew follows and steps in it, too, as per Joe Light in the WSJ.

Washington Post (I hope) Embarrassed, Again?

The W Post last Saturday listed Fannie and Freddie as two of the highest stock performers for the previous week. Will the Post tell us how those “federal agencies—the ones with stock symbols and trading common and preferred stocks, managed to do that? Probably not soon, since I still am waiting for the paper to print its first report that Fannie Mae executives were found not to have engaged in securities fraud, two years ago when that federal court decision came down.


GOP Corner

House GOP wants fewer scientists and less science on Science Panel.

Congressional Republicans Battle Each Other


Maloni, 11-24-1014







Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Some Cats and Dogs

F&F Action and Smallish Mea Culpa


Should be lots of Fannie and Freddie Fodder this week, especially when Mel Watt testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, but first I need to open with a few follow up items.
I am contrite for going off so heavily on the GOP in my last blog. It’s not what most people want to see/read/hear in this venue.
I believe what I said and think all of it is supportable, but it’s only a sidebar to the broader financial services and Fannie and Freddie discussion that I hope the blog generates.
I plan to keep better control when I am tempted to engage in excess. Maybe using fewer sentences expressing my opinions is a good start.
Several of you wrote directly, while others wrote to the “comments section” about “Cubans” and my discussion of them categorized as “Hispanics” or “not Hispanics.” Someone asked should anyone be categorized by anything but their native country?  (“I was born in Mexico, I was born in El Salvador, I was born in Cuba, etc. etc.)
Views ran strong and deep and it doesn’t matter what point I was trying to make about the GOP and why most—not all Cubans—are registered Republicans.
More to the point, the national Republican Party and its congressional manifestation have about 15 months or so to prove to the nation that they consider last week’s vote to be a mandate for something different and positive for the American public, not just to gloat over a strong anti-Obama fallout and continue to tread on our unpopular president.

Always an optimist, I am rooting for the former, but have my doubts the GOP can rise above their inclinations and pull it off, since they will try and hang the sitting President (and all things Obama) around the neck of whomever the Democrats chose in 2016.
Not sure if that’s the path to desired and necessary national leadership or using your newly validated political strength to design policy and govern. But we’ll soon see if the enhanced GOP “in action” means anything other than more creative gridlock. 

Fannie and Freddie Reality

Lots of speculation on what’s next for Fannie and Freddie, a subject on which I’ve speculated, too. 

Indeed, most of the current post election talk has tended to reiterate the conventional wisdom that the Dems, with only 45 votes, can forestall massive unpopular policy changes (GSEs—if it is too extreme--or anything else) because the R’s will need 60 votes to override a presidential veto.

During the lame duck session, we will hear more F&F “noise,” but that’s because the real players won’t be talking substance/strategy now but waiting until the dust has settles on congressional committee and party leadership choices. Although Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and John Boehner (R-Ohio, already have been chosen by acclamation to be the Senate Majority Leader and House Speaker, respectively. 

SBC and HBC 

Once Sen. Dick Shelby (R-Ala.) lays out his Senate Banking Committee agenda—if he chooses that over chairing Senate Appropriations --we’ll get a much better insight; ditto with HBC Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.), if the latter survives a House R Caucus challenge from Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) or somebody else. 

Until those committee authorities emote, most speculation will be just that. 

The DC “nattering classes”—as opposed to “knitting”--think that the GSE knot is too tough to cut next year and believe the Congress is willing to let well enough alone and look the other way as the Administration makes some marginal changes in operations through the regulatory process.
Not to be the skunk at anyone’s picnic, but I believe the above is accurate, unless the House--which gets much more conservative once Nov. 4’s GOP winners join up--also gets super pragmatic—figures out some way, creatively to wrests concessions from their Senate counterparts (on this or another matter) and send some version of the CWJC bill to the President’s desk, thereby politically belling the President’s cat. 

That action would allow the GOP Congress loudly to take credit for pushing a law to solve the nations’ housing finance system problems.

I don’t think that will happen and nothing they can do instantly will fix the nation’s mortgage finance system, but it would be a mistake—at least now—to underestimate House GOP flexibility and its desire to help deliver the WH to their presidential favorite son. 

Anyone arguing that CWJC or most variations won’t accomplish that objective--but merely rearrange the Titanic’s deck chairs, putting the big banks in First Class--will be shouted down by the GOP media machine as it plows forward shaping the terrain to defeat Hillary Clinton or whomever is the 2016 Democrat candidate. 

So, this “Big Lie”—since a close review of those Senate bills reveals little that is pro-consumer or pro-affordable lending--will succeed (but not replace) the other “Big Lie,” which claimed F&F caused the 2008 financial disaster. 


Reminder: The many “third amendment” and “takings” lawsuits will move at their own pace, occasionally impacting what happens elsewhere but for the most part the court proceedings move on their own track and schedule. With possible appeals and SCOTUS looming behind anything near-term, the process with will be with us for a long time. 

(CRT’s Mike Kim reports that Continental Western Insurance, plaintiffs in the Iowa F&F lawsuit, have filed a motion against the government’s initial filing, asking Judge Ross Walters to dismiss the case because of the Lamberth finding. Plaintiffs note that GWI was not part of the Lamberth lawsuit and that the government’s request for “preclusion” violates SCOTUS rulings.) 

Watt’s Wednesday Senate BC Testimony

Watt should expect to hear bitching from both sides (although D’s will treat him with more respect) over every issue that been in the media the past two months, from 3% down to agency fees, the Admin’s authority to act without Congress, common security and underwriting platform, and maybe even gun-toting FHFA investigators. He might get asked about the court cases, at least his agency’s part of them (most of which occurred before he got the job). 

If President Obama truly is going to move independently on immigration, soon, Watt won’t budge much from the general principle of Administration regulatory authority to take actions either in general or in the case of congressional intransigence.

His testimony will generate a few news stories, but I would be shocked if Director Watt goes much beyond mortgage finance policy where he and other Admin spokespeople have marched.

What Others Are Saying 

TH717, a Good Primer 

One of my blog goals has been education of people who come late to the GSE issue and don’t know or can’t appreciate the interplay of opposition to the mortgage giants from the GOP and the F&F business and political opponents.
That’s one of the reasons why I periodically point to books and articles that illuminate and link other material on the issue. 

I don’t know the person I’ve labeled “not our” Tim Howard” (have no guarantee that is his real name or if he writes the stuff appearing in his journal), but he has been publishing GSE opinions under the name “Tim Howard717” and generating interest.

This past week, he published a useful primer, almost a distillation of many of the issues I touched on over the years.

I recommend it to people just learning about F&F or even you grizzled vets who consume GSE info regularly. 


Speaking of doing excellent education (and also being quite smart and accurate!), read David Fiderer’s new National Mortgage News article. Once again, “The Hammer” nails it! (Every congressional member of the two H&S BC and their staffs, along with great numbers in the media, needs to read David’s work.
Fiderer shows how foolish Treasury and FHFA legal interpretations dug a GSE financial hole much deeper than it needed to be; casually ignored F&F capital generating guarantee and portfolio operational strengths; errantly super-sized GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) loss protections; and that FHFA blatantly and consistently ignored its primary job of a “conservator” to preserve corporate resources and revenue with any eye toward future commercial revival. 

“Preach it, Brother Dave!”


What, the Dems Made Bad Decisions?

When you read the National Journal article below think of the possibility some clever congressional R’s once made a successful pitch that sounded something like this and Democrats now have to ponder the position ion which they’ve put themselves. 

“Hey D’s, join us in the GOP in dumping all over the existing housing finance system; call it lots of names, and then we’ll give the leftovers, wrapped in a fat on budget, red, white, and blue package, to the big banks!”


Richard Bove declares Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s new AG nomination will be a positive for the GSEs, if approved. (I don’t think I agree with Dick on this and also can’t believe that F&F are anywhere on the Admin’s legal priorities or her own. At best, she might be disengaged but that also might make her more receptive to “agenda driven gremlins” in the WH or Treasury.)

Bad Fannie Mae 

Gretchen Morgenson dings Fannie Mae’s collection methods from defaulted mortgagors, but she should likely point the finger at someone in the FHFA not the company itself, if she is looking for who is the string pulling culprit. 


Ya-w-w-n--n, New Bank Fines for Breaking Laws;
 DC: If We Fine Them, Do You Think They’ll Stop?


It’s a British made commercial for Guinness beer and it’s a week after Memorial Day, but still worth watching. (Thanks, Flash.)

Maloni, 11-18-2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New blog will be out tomorrow (Tuesday, 11-18). Got weather delayed in Chicago, connecting from Las Vegas, and lost a production day.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ugly Political Future, F&F Chug Along

Election Thoughts, F&F Next Steps



There is nothing much I can add to what already has been reported about last week’s elections.

The Republicans kicked major butt.

It was a GOP political tsunami, bringing more conservative strength to their bulging House numbers (a black Mormon woman elected from Utah!!??), and Senate victories made a legitimate scallywag, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) the Senate Majority Leader.

The GOP cut like a hot knife through butter; D’s got wiped and pushed out of the South, making the GOP responsible for all of those states which were part of the original confederacy, something which is symmetric but hauntingly ironic that with 57% of the south is home to Black Americans (source 2010 census), it’s now represented in the Congress by today’s political party which is so antithetical to minority rights.

Seven of the 10 states, with the fastest Hispanic population growth, are in the south (source 2013 HuffPost). 

Few convincingly can deny that this was a massive rejection of President Obama’s policies and program initiatives. He suggested that himself a few weeks ago and, sadly, he was correct. 

I am not lamenting that Washington will be run by the Republican party for the next two years as much as I gag at the transparency of their ideology and dogma. It’s seeks to recreate an America which existed at the end of WWII, both economically, demographically, and socially, except that ain’t never happening again, unless the GOP opts for pogroms!.  

The forces that created the Grand Old Party—primarily in the past 20 years-- sculpted a massively non-inclusive affair shaped largely for the benefit of the tightly connected homogeneous  “haves,” who already possess too much of our national wealth.

The southern and south western states now firmly in the GOP camp—including Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, et al--represent many of the poorest educated states, the states with the least amount of income, the states with highest degree of medical problems; states with the highest levels of poverty, and all sorts of indicia of backwardness and need.
State officials and their residents may blanch at those qualities, but statistically it’s true.
What types of federal programs, save more of "feed the rich" are their GOP Congressmen and Senators going to produce to help them?  

Save me from the GOP pointing to a Black southern Senator, a Black far western Congresswoman, a few Hispanic others (Cubans are not “Hispanic” in my book) and arguing that their party is a big tent.

The Republican Party is not, hasn’t been, and won’t suddenly become inclusive and open, because the party’s controls all are in the hands of very conservative extremists.
If in your GOP gut, you don’t like black and brown citizens, and don’t need their votes, you are not going to spend a lot of time trying to help them. 

 Some Dems Should Disappear

The Democratic congressional leadership—Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.), Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY.), Sen. Michael Bennett (who?), and the DNC head Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schulz--quickly should apologize to their national membership, resign, seek party successors and then run and hide their shame.

Sure the “D’s will fight will go on,” but the uphill incline is much steeper, especially if the congressional Republicans don’t—as I suggested they could—puke all over themselves, reprehensively, in the next two years and create hope for the Democratic Party. 

One of the more constructive columns I read, a column by Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, has the GOP throwing around its weight but in some positive ways.

The next two years are going to be loud, rancorously ugly and require the best of each of us to pierce the noise and calumny.

Is the Conservative SCOTUS Warming Up?? 

Last Friday, the Supreme Courts quick (goose?) stepped into the GOP’s ongoing Obamacare fight, absent any triggering underlying case resolution requiring pending SCOTUS interaction, saying it will decide whether the tax subsidies in that law are constitutional.

That scares me given what I think is the activism level of our highest court and its willingness to turn back the clock to a long gone era. 

I just see the possibility of a gaggle of older Catholic guys writing 5-4 majorities for this court on any number of matters.
Should the nation worry over which of these long standing decisions could be challenged and reviewed, possibly with an eye to changing them, especially if some GOP berserkers in either chamber decide to mount a real or PR challenge?

I am sure there is some legal answer out there besides, “Trust them; they never would do that,” which may satisfy me that this Court and its congressional Amen Chorus won’t start to reshape the country in their “1950’s TV family” ideals.

Let’s Talk Fannie and Freddie

 Generally good stuff.

While nothing in the election results making F&F situation any worse or better—and some arguing they now are worse--the GOP takeover of the Senate likely means that Alabama’s Dick Shelby (R-Ala.) will be the next SBC Chairman.

Shelby is a wily Senator who I don’t believe will take on issues which are not ripe or worse, sour, and I doubt that he would try and make the Senate swallow a House approved mortgage reform bill.

With the 2015 numbers, major Senate action means 60 votes at the bottom line (with @ 55 R’s in the chamber) to survive an Obama veto. 

Currently, Shelby isn’t a GSE fan, but he’ll move carefully on what he tries to pass. 

Still to come next month in the House GOP Caucus is a possible challenge to HBC Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) from committee member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), which could impact committee action against F&F.

F&F Earnings

Yawn, as predicted here last week, Fannie and Freddie last week reported that they would send $6.8 Billion to the Treasury’s General Fund, raising to $230 Billion the amount over and above the $188 Billion figure the government infused in the two in 2008.

That success won’t stop the noise to get rid of the two but it does show that if the Obama Admin decides that it has consumed enough F&F honey, there is money that easily could go to corporate capital for protection against future losses or even some possible reduction of the conservatorship rules. 

Here is a Detroit News story on the earnings.


Clea Benson in Bloomberg interviewed the top guys at both F&F for their perspective on earnings and related issues...


F&F Urban Institute Conference 

Last week, there was a “F&F going forward” confab co-hosted by CoreLogic and the Urban Institute, which featured among others, Jim Millstein and current UI GSE guru and former Obama WH official, Jim Parrott.

Moderator: Faith Schwartz, senior vice president, government solutions, CoreLogic
Ø Andrew Davidson, president, Andrew Davidson & Co.
Ø Julia Gordon, director of housing finance and policy, Center for American Progress
Ø Jim Millstein, chairman and chief executive officer, Millstein & Co.
Ø Jim Parrott, senior fellow, Housing Finance Policy Center, Urban Institute. 

The takeaway from the event was continued belief about the difficulty of a new Congress moving any significant restructuring legislation on the subject and more support, with caveats, for the long stated Millstein approach that the Obama Administration should use its regulatory authority to make necessary and desirable operational changes in the mortgage giants. 

Judge Margaret Sweeney’s Own Words 

If there are those among you who lost a little hope when Judge Royce Lamberth issued his opinion claiming there were no lengths to which the government couldn’t go and control or work its will on F&F, take heart. This article linked below quotes Judge Margaret Sweeney on her support and decision for “discovery,” which will allow plaintiffs lawyers to fig into Treasury and FHFA records to see what evidence may exist suggesting the government played fast and loose with the law when opting for the F&F revenue sweep in 2012. 


 “Tim Howard717” and OFHEO Miscreants? 

When Steve Blumenthal, current DC lawyer and former special assistant (who left in 2006) to OFHEO (FHFA’s predecessor) Director Armando Falcon, argued last week in National Housing News that F&F should be combined, it caught the attention of “not our” Tim Howard 717.

Much of which was documented by a HUD IG’s report (now public) which came just short of saying certain OFHEO principals were guilty of major violations. 

TH717 called out  those 10 year old actions—for which the statute of limitations has run outbut promised to reveal more damaging material about what may have occurred at OFHEO during those tumultuous times. 

There are several people in town who still hold those two largely, but not exclusively responsible (because there were other antagonists at OFHEO), for the incendiary regulatory—as history now has shown--approach OFHEO took with the two companies and their execs, especially Fannie.

I don’t know who the TH717 is, except that he is not our former Fannie colleague, but I am looking forward to seeing where he goes with this foray. 

As a reminder, this is the guy who is offering major dollars for anyone coming forward with documented information proving that Treasury and the FHFA contravened laws in imposing on F&F both conservatorship and/or the “third amendment” revenue sweep. 

Here are other links to some of TH717’s spirited observations.


What Others Are Saying 

F&F earnings

Fiderer likes to point out that given that more than 25% of that $188 Billion was forced borrowing to pay interest to pay on the interest—when the GSEs lacked income(shortly turned around in 2012)--the Feds, in truth, have made @$85 Billion for lending F&F @ $145 Billion.


My thanks to the NAR’s Joe Ventrone for sending this release from last week’s Realtors conference in New Orleans on predictions for housing action next year.

DC Lobbying Firms Lick Chops Over GOP Control


Mortgage Bankers Association’s early view of Next Congress

Here’s how the Mortgage Bankers’ Association is handicapping the new Congress and what housing related actions it could undertake next year.


Maloni, 11-11-2014


Happy Veterans Day to all of those who serve and served, their families, and loved ones; each of us owes you men and women our everlasting thanks and support for what you do and did. (Thanks to my Uncle Isadore, US Army in WWII and wounded in Battle of the Bulge; my late brother Lou and my late cousin Bernie for their 1950’s service in the US Navy.)