Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The President's in a fog and many of us are sad for other reasons

GSE News is thin....and we suffer a terrible Loss

While most of the GSE plaintiffs have added to their cases the Lambert opinion calling for a jury trial, little has changed as the government seeks more time to plot its next moves against those remaining Fannie/Freddie court cases, that seek relief from either the conservatorship, the PSPA “sweep,” or both.

A longtime acquaintance—reflecting one of my fears—suggests scuttlebutt is Ginnie Mae’s Michael Bright is prepping himself as is he soon may be nominated for the Directorship of the FHFA and –if that happens—still be permitted by the Trump Admin to hold onto his current Ginnie Mae job, as well.

Why waste a steady GSE critic?

The precedential reason why that might work for this White House is the dual role OMB Director Mick Mulvaney has spent as acting head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), dismantling as much of it as he was able until his anti-consumer successor awaits final Senate approval.

For months, Mulvaney has worn two hats, torturing CFPB and its allies, and toiling at his day job presiding over the Trump budget concerns and pooh-poohing all the Admin’s red ink generating activities. The latter is a toll on our kids and grandkids, which grows daily as the Republicans in charge of the House and Senate put in place more deficit spending and tax cut plans.

Bright has been a major activist for large doing away with Fannie and Freddie and substituting a larger and more active Ginnie Mae, despite ignoring the many problems associated with thrusting this sleepy government agency, with no institutional experience—let alone depth of talent or even employee numbers—in securitizing non-government insured and guaranteed mortgage loans—not the large and more numerous conventional financing (a mortgage industry technical term)--which have been the exclusive province of Fannie and Freddie, while Ginnie contented itself with its sole mission of packaging government-backed mortgages, with most of the front end and a lot of the back office work done by mortgage lenders not Ginnie staff.

That’s the Bright dream, it has his name on it, when he was employed elsewhere and working with and for people who did not have the consumer’s best mortgage execution top of mine but were/are desperate to gut the GSEs.


She's gone.

Last week, a wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful, supportive and dedicated wife, mother, sister, volunteer, and friend, was taken from us far, far too early.

Three hundred people attended her services, cemetery burial, and went to her home to celebrate her life. Each memorial segment superbly conducted by her brave and grieving family with the grace and class she epitomized. Abby, your husband, children, grandchildren, sibs, their loved ones, as well as your many, many friends—and the senior citizens mishpucha you succored and sustained—deeply/dearly will miss you.)

An Afterthought…

Even at such a sad occasion, I engaged in one non-funereal thought/dream/fantasy, after seeing dozens of current and former Talented senior mortgage professionals collectively grieving.

There were multiple ex-CEOs, CFOs, Marketing and Credit EVPs, Single Family and Multifamily experts, several lawyers, General Counsels, Communicators, women and men of all ethnicities, part of a prior era’s dream team.

I felt if I could gather them as a group, walk them into Fannie Mae, today, they would have it running precision smooth for our country, if permitted to employ all of their mortgage finance experience and entrepreneurial skills with minimal regulatory interference.


Brett Kavanaugh’s wife and I cross paths (or packages)

After returning from the sad experience discussed above, I found a package left on our front porch.

We get lots of packages, tons of packages, and--because there are two houses with the same numbers in their addresses on streets either side of us--we often get packages meant for other families and not just Mrs. Maloni and me, whose combined habits can wear out delivery services.

This was the case last week, as I glanced at the box, saw the common numeral as ours in the address, noted it hadn’t been addressed to any “Maloni” and decided I would leave it undisturbed until the next day and take care of it with the local community office identified on the label with the same shared number as our address.

When I went out the next morning to get the newspaper, I stared at the box and noticed the addressee was “Ashley Kavanaugh,” a name I recognized as the wife of the Judge and while the labels were formal, there was handwriting scrawled on the package suggesting “open with care.”

I may have come to town on a potato wagon, but not the night before.

Cue my paranoia!

I hurriedly ran from the package on the porch, went inside and called the local police and in less than five minutes the Chief was on my porch, with one of his guys, eyeballing the package.

After perusing it, he suggested I stay in the back of the house until “they” determine what was in it.  Since it was no time for amateur hour, the Chief proceeded to call the US Marshall’s office, which I guess is the explosive tech experts.

I stayed far back in the house, away from the front porch, often on the second floor, until the package was removed.

The Chief later called to assure me there was nothing dangerous in the package, but didn’t tell me what was in it. That worked for me.

The POTUS and Judge Kavanaugh

I wrote a draft blog about this matter a week ago—when it was front page--intending to include a lengthy piece in the newest blog, but decided to cut it short, since everything had been said, on both sides, with Kavanaugh now approved but still trailing smoke.

I have no idea who was right when Dr. Ford first testified and Judge Kavanaugh followed, each delivering conflicting statements. Neither side nor their advocates would back off.

But, I do fault the President for not standing up and providing leadership the moment he saw the nomination hit the skids and take on its hostile controversial form.

Donald Trump could have gotten almost any candidate he wanted on the Court, had he quickly moved away from Kavanaugh.

Instead, rather than use this evolving ideological warfare to rise above it and display the needed presidential character our nation seeks, President Trump failed, chose to stick it to his opponents, and threw gasoline on hot coals by ridiculing Dr. Ford during a campaign trip.

There was nothing in Brett Kavanaugh’s judicial history which made him head and shoulders above any of the other members of the deep GOP bench the Republicans can turn to for judicial candidates.

The President could have pulled the Kavanaugh nomination—because of the flap-- and instead appointed any one of those deserving GOP judges/lawyers to the SCOTUS and still achieved what only really concerns him, a steady vote for the social, political and commercial positions his base supports, meaning a guaranteed fifth vote against any and all governors or filters on this Administration’s financial, consumer, gun control, immigration, environmental, and broader healthcare limitations.

Another lost opportunity!

Maloni, 10-9-2018


Bill Maloni said...

Email from my next door neighbor, today:

"Hey Bill: As I walked to ______ last Friday, I saw many police + canine unit + another investigator swarming your front porch & front yard, and there was a little pkg on your front porch.

"I hope all is well, and you were not the target of malicious endeavor."

Unknown said...

Bill, after reading your blogs for a while I couldn't stop from commenting this time. I know you are a passionate pro Fannie Mae advocate and if your goal is to be heard by people of influence, what message are you trying to send?
Your writing about the current administration is inflammatory and almost certainly affected by your biases, while the previous administration (which I assume you are a fan of) completely decimated shareholders by nationalizing the GSEs. I would even say the current administration is a direct bi-product of the previous administration's actions, when many GSE shareholders became completely fed up with the lies and coverups. If the current administration is to fix this mess, and you are attempting to use your persuasion skills in a specific solution direction, do you really feel that talking about kids/grandkids being hurt by Trump and SWAT teams at your door will help move any influencers your way?

I am a fund manager and have started to cringe when I see people I agree with on GSE issues putting sticks in our own wheels. If possible, please reconsider your approach. I am certain that Tim Howard is looking to take politics out of the solution to the GSEs and doesn't show a preference for one or another party, and you should follow that lead!

Bill Maloni said...


Thanks for reading and writing; my wish to you for much personal success.

You offered a very fair and accurate assessment and it troubles me--sometimes--if I engage in it exclusively, a practice I've avoided by always trying to have some GSE material in my blogs.

But, as with any dominant noise or light, DJT is hard to ignore.

But, my views about the Trump Administration are aimed at the man and what I believe are gross shortcomings in his conduct of the office of the President. All of which reflect my opinion of Donald Trump's many personal, ethical, educational, moral, and civic flaws.

We've seen better, even from his predecessor, albeit certainly not on GSE matters.

A few other comments on your comments.

Tim, who came to Fannie shortly before me--and maybe is the smartest financial guy I ever have encountered--andI were hired to perform different duties.

He was/is a superb quant. I was a back alley political scrapper.

In our own ways and world, we succeeded for two decades.

But as an American citizen, who cares about his country and the nation where I hope my grandkids and grandkids will prosper, I need to speak out against the many Un-American, dissembling policies and actions of this Administration. The daily multiple Trump-team lies should make us all cringe.

I'll try to keep my blog items largely GSE oriented, but only occasionally will I be able to ignore the environment in which Fannie and Freddie matters will be decided and the people who will make those calls.

And, as I suspect you know from your own work, the Fannie and Freddie future is not about facts, just politics and money.

If it was the former, this mess would be far behind us by now.

Alec Mazo said...

I know that Bright to FHFA is inconsistent with developments up to date, including Hensarling personally saying the White House isn't listening to his GSE proposal, which is aligned with Bright, so I doubt there is much truth to that rumor.
If you insist on covering the GSEs and the administration, it would be great to see a narrative with a story packaged positively - and thus more persuasively.

Bill Maloni said...

Whatsamatta you, Alec?

You don't like rumor and innuendo? Then stop following what goes in inside the Beltway because things here are murkier than Hell and logic is seldom present.

As I just told somebody else about 20 minutes ago, I hope I am wrong about Bright.

I've had four calls/emails today from people who say "no way," "MB is way too abrasive," and once again, another lobbyist saying, "It's going to be Calabria."

Thank you for reading, AM, good luck in your business efforts, and I'll keep your views in mind.

Glen said...

I don't know why people get so butthurt about your blog.

You're just a whiney dude, who channels his connections in the city of gossip

Just because some people have lots of money riding on this somehow makes them think that they can give you a lesson on how to pitch GSE stock as an investment.

That's not the purpose of this blog, as much as they'd like it to be.

Please Bill, put together an investor presentation that I can email to my stakeholders!

Lol, yeah right.

Anyway, glad to see Paulo Muelo hype train your garbage to funky town.

Bill Maloni said...

Glen--lighten up.

Frankly, who are you--or anyone else--to tell me what the "purpose is of my blog??

It's my &*^%$#@ blog and it's my choice what GSE stuff goes in it, when, and the perspective it takes.

"Whiney dude" or not, you are the guy who is reading it, so does that say more about you or me?

As John Cusack said to his antagonist in "Grosse Point Blank," (paraphrasing) "You're mad about something Glen, but it can't be me. There is no you and me."

As for Muolo, Paul must have been having a slow IMF news day to retrieve a three year old story about me building a backyard swing set for my grandkids, which still sits there, proudly, being used every time they come over. (Translation: complaints didn't stand.)

Glen said...


Bill Maloni said...

You effectively rang my bell!

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