Weird, but so appropriate for a Maloni blog, especially this one………
In preparing this week’s blog, I had my usual three or four GSE issues: comments on a purported White House reaction to my blog use last week of the descriptive term of “White Boys at Treasury” (the appearance of the possibility embarrassed some close to the President, I was told); an observation on the piggish “mo, mo, mo” budget request by the GSE regulator for more employees and more staff in its “Inspector General’s” office; and the government’s plan to hire more outside consultants for their GSE legal defense team, an act which opens this so called super sensitive business information to hundreds of lawyers, court officials, and their administrative staffs (but laughingly/ironically not the “real Tim Howard,” since Fairholme’s request to give him access was zapped weeks ago. He must of done too good a job abiding by those same rules for 8 years, during his own federal court travails.)
I also had links to other important matters, including a major GSE matter, the GOP and Democrat presidential nomination campaigns; a first person account of congressional incompetence/ineptitude handling of Rep. Mark Foley’s disgraceful pursuit of male pages--and more.
That blog is not in front of you now because your self-identified “tech idiot" editor lost it in the blogosphere on Saturday and couldn’t recover it, even though I save every change, each time I worked on it.
This event just underscored a few uncomfortable realities about my ability to design and publish this beast every week.
However, the main reason I’m upset at screwing up this week’s publication is……
This will be my final weekly blog. I still may write about Fannie and Freddie issues in the future—because I care deeply about their systemic fate--but not regularly or on any set schedule, since I plan to take on a new project.
I’ve written before I think the die is cast on GSE issues. First, it’s tied up in a raft of court cases which will take years to work through the system.
No matter who wins the presidency next year, Congress is riven on mortgage finance matters and the special interests will maintain their pressure on either side and dissuade the Hill from doing anything which makes practical sense.
One solution for Congress would be to make a few desirable changes to the current Fannie and Freddie model, save itself years of fractious debate and the even worse transition from the resident mortgage finance scheme to a new one, which—unless designed to neutralize large bank power—just will have the large financial institutions dominating it, with no GSE to play the role of governor.
But, Congress isn't deft enough to work that way.
As most people are aware, my wife Heidi and I have four adult sons—two of whom are married and the younger two still single—and 6 grandkids, with the chance of more.
Those kids all were born after my parents died.
They know nothing of my mother, her seven siblings (my wonderful aunts and one uncle who helped shape me), my Dad’s much smaller family, the City of Pittsburgh and all the institutions and friends who colored my early years and decisions.
I plan to write a family history for them (and their future cousins??) and anyone else who thinks the Bill/Heidi Maloni family and their family tree could be interesting.
The original “disappearing blog” had far more about this project, which really isn’t necessary beyond identifying with how I plan to fill my days.
If that doesn't work out, possibly I'll come back. But, even with my new plan, I’m still available to talk with anyone who wants to talk about Fannie and Freddie, especially their history, and their complex relationship with the Congress.
I also noted in the “lost paragraphs” about the many new GSE information sources and writers, which I consider a major positive. There likely will be a new GSE oriented website, established by a very smart individual, who is hoping to develop the technical skills so my fate doesn’t befall him.
After more than 500 weekly blogs and about 1.2 million words on the subject (and well over 100,000 hits), I’m moving on and I thank all of you for reading and the many (too numerous to single out) who helped me keep the blog going.
Fannie’s and Freddie’s fate was dictated less by business reality and more by ideology and politics, and there is/was enough cash involved to underscore the maxim, “follow the money.”
I want them to survive and perform much as they performed in the past. But if they are not maintained, I predict what follows still will have similar features—with a government back up (makes you wonder why Congress would change them)--but be less efficient, more clunky, won’t work as well creating more homeowners, and the transition will be problem filled, unsatisfying, and ultimately more costly.
(Happy birthday, tomorrow, Jason Wynn Maloni, our first born.)