Monday, October 26, 2015

Didn't Jack Lew Once Tell Rep. Capuano F&F Repaid Their Debt?

My Response to Antonio Weiss

(Written on 10-19, the day his belligerent article appeared in Bloomberg; see link below.)

I am disappointed.

I had heard Antonio Weiss was a smart fellow, who Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) scotched for a full time Treasury job just because of his Wall Street roots.

Well, where he worked almost doesn’t matter; because what he wrote this past week about GSE mortgage reform suggests he isn’t a very deep or critical thinker and a lousy homeownership advocate.

Weiss Says No

In a prominent article, objecting to Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s recapitalization and release from “conservatorship,” Mr. Weiss--now a counsellor to the Treasury Secretary--rattles off the same Obama administration empty bromide chorus which produced the spot we are in, today. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae (the GSEs or government sponsored enterprises) locked in “conservatorship,” sending every penny of their earnings to the Treasury General Fund.

That amount now is almost @$240 Billion and growing. Neither has been permitted to retain earnings for protective capital—beyond a minuscule amount--
since former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s 2012 “Third Amendment" sweep decision.

Bank Celebrates Weiss's call Gets Fined

It is telling—as I will expand later--that Weiss’s article came out on the same day that US financial officials charged Barclay’s Bank with a $350 Million fine for violating credit union mortgage operations.

This regulatory tariff shouldn’t be confused with Barclay’s two other major US fines this year, the first for $2.6 Billion as part of a six bank assault on the FOREX and then a US Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(CFTC) fine of $115 Million for false reporting on swaps rates.

In putting thumbs down on some Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operational future, which could be achieved through Obama regulatory fiat, Weiss naively chose to call on the Congress--which barely can agree on what is the day and date in DC--to cooperate on a massive mortgage finance system reform which he contends will serve the nation better and reduce taxpayers risk. (Mr. Weiss, can you say commercial behemoths “Too Big To Fail?”)

Senators sought to do that last year but limped away, shaking their collective heads because the proposed reform scheme didn’t see worth the anguish, confusion, delay and uncertainty of their legislative proposal which came out the back end of the White House/special interest legislative spaghetti grinder.

No New Plan Antonio, just Nada?

Missing from Weiss’s hollow call to action is any new plan which possibly might pass the formidable GOP dominated congressional committees and not just reward the nation’s largest banks, at the expense of would be homebuyers and other mortgage finance professionals who fear large bank domination.

Weiss now has become a major part of President Obama’s “kick the mortgage can—and a lot else--down the road” and force his Democrat or GOP successor to do what he won’t undertake, even though he has the power to make dramatic executive changes to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac situation.

The significance of my comment about Barclay’s Bank’s fine and Weiss’s announcement (which got mirrored later that day by Treasury’s Mike Stegman speaking to the Mortgage Bankers Association) is every single mortgage finance alternative—which this Administration, the Senate and House Republicans solidly endorse—would give the primary and secondary mortgage markets over to the nation’s largest banks and their allies.

So one part of this paranoid Admin calls for “mortgage reform which Congress must pass,” while another office fines the heck out of the banks, who would be the ultimate untrustworthy beneficiaries of the Obama/congressional mortgage market reforms.

Psst, Some Banks Cheat

Maybe now would be a good time to remind the White House and its minions of a certain cruel reality, which vexes most Americans, but which was neatly embodied by one of Barclay’s employees who crowed last May when the bank’s FOREX fine came down. He said, “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t trying.”

Pretty dismal bank mantra to contemplate, right Mr. Weiss? But that is a revealing look into bank DNA and I suspect, coming off Wall Street, you know it quite well!

When the commercial banks in the post-2008 period took down two and a half times what Treasury gave Fannie and Freddie—since their private, non F&F, mortgage bonds losses were close to $500 Billon--did anyone say the bank business model didn’t work, even though their securities were spectacularly more taxpayer costly than the GSEs?

Oh That, Again

For me, what’s almost as hoary is Weiss’s GSE criticism of “privatizing gains and socializing loses.”

What does that mean? Recently I wrote that Fannie and Freddie, in each of their first 38 years (76 total), paid every business loss they incurred from their own revenues, not looking to Uncle Sam for any help.

It was the Bush Administration—that continues to draw critical academic and literary scrutiny of its possible ideological agenda--which chose to put the GSEs into conservatorship, a very questionable decision still being challenged in the courts and forced on them $187 Billion (closer to $150 Billion, if you look at the details), which has been paid back—similar to the various banks which got federal financial assistance at that time—even though Weiss and others argue the money hasn’t been repaid.

Financial Support Has Been Repaid

If you ask most Americans, Mr. Weiss, “When you borrow 187 apples and repay 240 apples, have you paid off your debt?” The answer is “Yes.”

But, what if there was an unprecedented critical stipulation applied to the GSEs that no other firm faced?

And there was.

No bank or other financial service companies had its version of the  bizarre application of “GSE debt can never be repaid but goes on forever.”

What also is painfully transparent is Weiss’s ignorance or premeditated diminution of Fannie’s and Freddie’s successful post-2008 regulation.  That new oversight paradigm has all but foreclosed the same pre-2008 scenario from reoccurring. (Why, Mr. Weiss, do you think the GSEs have prospered financially since then and “repaid” all of that taxpayer money?)

The GSEs current regulation: which nobody wants dramatically altered, allowed both companies to repay taxpayers @$240 Billion; limited the type of mortgages they can securitize and improved the credit profiles on those loans; resulted in them reducing dramatically the sizes of their retained portfolios; and ushered in creative ways to sell their remaining losing mortgages to other “private investors,” utilizing private mortgage insurance tools and other devices.

Mr. Weiss, are your favored banks so well regulated?

But, but, Why all of those Bank Fines, If They are The Answer?

If so, why have they been hit with over $100 Billion in US regulatory fines—in the same post-2008 time frame, constituting a broad range of serious legal and regulatory violations and wrong doings (laundering Mexican drug money, commercially dealing with Middle Eastern extremists and governments, manipulating the LIBOR index to which most US adjustable rate loans are tied, etc., etc., etc.)?

Lost in all of the smokescreen this Administration creates is that mortgage market players, meaning home buyers, lenders, Realtors and builders, are very familiar with Fannie and Freddie and how they work in conjunction with their own personal and business objectives.

Only tinkering a little with them and their nationwide business relationships, to the extent necessary, is far more practical than abolishing the GSEs and starting anew in a non-stop, vibrant $11 Trillion US mortgage/housing market which approaches 18% of our GNP.

My friend, Bethany McLean, an award winning financial services and GSE author, is fond of summoning Winston Churchill’s memory and applying the great British war time leader’s word about “democracy,” when she paraphrases, “Fannie and Freddie may be the worst form of mortgage finance system, except for all of the others.”


My Bad!

I was so PO’d when I first read Antonio Weiss’s article, I sat down and quickly penned the above.

I cleaned up my inevitable typos and sent it to a friendly journal, asking if it would be interested in printing it?

They were, but raised some issues about the strength of a few comments I made both about Weiss and the nation’s big banks.

My first reaction—which is why the column appears in my blog and not a major medium—is that I have multiple reasons for my view of larcenous bank behavior, which the financial institutions seem to reinforce every few weeks, and I wasn’t going to water them down (although I could have).

Weiss I don’t know, but speculated on his “type,” given the nature of his arguments.

Bottom line--in sending out my screed to a journal which publishes to a much bigger audience and more frequently than I--it has the right and obligation to seek whatever quality they want in a “guest” column.

This is my blog and, first and foremost, before I publish my own stuff, it has to satisfy my objectives.

It’s their publication and the same principle applies.

So guys, you were right and I was wrong because I forgot a most important social tenet, “Your house, your rules.”

What Others Are Saying

Presidential Corner

A nation (likely) thanks you Joe Biden. I do.

With all due respect, I think you would have been hurt more by running and the tepid reception you would have encountered, as well as the partisan (and Democrat) slings and arrows your campaign would have produced.

The money you didn’t take in can be used by others in the general election and you should get “thanks” for that, too.

Elephants Square Off, Bush Trump No CIC

Trump versus Bush and Bush

GOP Establishment Readies War in Trump?


But, beginning of Jeb’s end?


Is Hillary now Thriving? Excellent “Debate,”
Biden drops out, GOP flubs Benghazi Hearing
Fannie and Freddie Corner

Fortune (nastily) says “no GSE reform”

Fiderer offers Twitter entertainment advice…

  David Fiderer (@Ny1david)

10/23/15, 11:47 AM
Thought Trey Gowdy's case against Hillary was persuasive? Sign up to hear Ed Pinto's case against the GSEs.

John Bancroft in Inside Mortgage Finance

GSE CEO’s Urge CSP Patience (Heh, heh, heh!)

Fannie, Freddie CEOs Urge Patience to the Industry on the Single GSE Security
By John Bancroft,

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rolled into their eighth year of government conservatorship pushing forward the two major reforms they can accomplish under their existing charters: selling off a significant portion of the credit risk on their current business and building a new MBS platform.

Top officials from the two government-sponsored enterprises urged the industry to be patient about the launch of the common securitization platform and, a little further down the road, the single security for GSE to-be-announced MBS.
“It will happen,” said Don Layton, CEO at Freddie Mac, during this week’s annual convention of the Mortgage Bankers Association. The joint venture is staffed and “no longer living like poor cousins” at the GSEs themselves. But the timing is uncertain, as with any major technology change, he said.

“It is a big undertaking involving some $5 trillion in assets,” Tim Mayopoulos, CEO of Fannie Mae, reminded the industry.

Bank Mess Up Corner

Barclay’s Pays latest big bank fine (3rd third in 2015); almost $3 Billion for only for one bank

General Political Commentary Corner

History of the House Speakership


Conservatives Balk at Some Ryan Demands; some call him “The Prince of Janesville”

Extreme GOP statements

House R's spending bill would repeal much of “Obamacare”

Michael Gerson Asks Key Question About House GOP


Does Rep. Elmers’ “Affair” Have Legs in NC?


Foreign Policy Corner

Krauthammer Flails Obama over Putin Syria Success

ISIL combatants hit by Russia & Syrian jets. Yay??



Tune in Wednesday Night, 10-28, to the next GOP presidential debate, on CNBC.

Maloni, 10-26-2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lots of Corker and Will Stegman (Follow Weiss) Rebut Political Alpha?

(Can't ignore Antonio Weiss' Monday morning article dumping on recap and release. He ignores seven years of GSE regulation which make a return to pre-2008 days next to  impossible. But he also seems to conveniently forget what the TBTF depositories and investment banks did in the same era. They had to be bailed out at an even greater cost to the taxpayers, and their regulation--despite the rather weak Dodd-Frank law--has not been significantly improved. Weiss is another shill for the big banks, who came know where so I don't have to even mention that place. I'll write more about Weiss and the WH position later, but get ready for Mike Stegman to repeat the same drivel.)

Does Senator Corker Understand
Financial Issues and  Institutions?

The Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) soap opera continues in an embarrassing, bumbling but possibly revealing manner.

A few paragraphs below, I share a personal educational experience and suggest why I see my own history in Corker’s personal vexations.
He was frustrated. Frustration that he most recently displayed at the Bipartisan Policy Center conference--when he ran up the legislative white flag of surrender--and then, again, last week with his TV opinion that the GSEs could move forward and survive as “utilities.”

Think about that, in barely a week, he flew from “wind Fannie and Freddie down” to “keep Fannie and Freddie alive as utilities.” That’s an extreme policy trek flip-flop which only feckless or not very bright politicians make, hoping they won’t get called on it.

In between, there was Corker’s “private gain and public loss” F&F claim, then a call for investors to “short” the GSE preferred and common stocks, and constant references to them as “hedge funds.”

When I first came to Washington, working as a press and legislative assistant for a Congressman on the House Banking Committee, he asked me to support his committee work, for which I had no formal education or vocational background (my degree was in journalism and political science).

That thrust me abruptly/immediately into the arcane world of financial services and banking system relationships, which were as foreign to me, as ordering from an exotic Asian dipping menu.

Frankly, I faked it.

I bluffed my way through issues and meetings, getting by with nodding approvingly and smartly employing “buzz words,” at appropriate times in conversations with constituents, media, and other staffers. Without totally comprehending them, I would drop financial phrases like “McCarron-Ferguson, thrifts, Reg Q, the differential, Davis-Bacon, the Fed, and Glass-Steagall*,” as if I knew what they all meant. (*They all refer to major housing and banking matters of the early 1970’s.)

In my first 18 months on the job, I didn’t have the core knowledge of mortgage lending and financial services. But I listened hard, asked a lot of questions, and learned fast. Soon, I knew how the parts fit together and when and how to “operate the engine.” (The first part was factual and history, the House politics.)

The difference between Senator Corker and me is while we both shared ignorance, I wasn’t a US Senator making floor and other speeches, expounding in the media, sputtering in the hearing room, getting flustered on television, and spouting off these phrases and concepts—eventually exposing my lack of knowledge—while pretending I grasped them all and their relationships.

The “does not know” cubby hole where I now place Sen. Bob Corker. (He shouldn’t feel alone, since he has a lot of congressional company.)

Despite all of Bob Corker’s ranting, raving, and media preening, he really doesn’t know much about the financial institutions and operations he rails against or how they worked in the past and now work.

The Senator still is thundering about the GSEs portfolio interest rate risk, even as both Fannie’s and Freddie’s portfolio risks are slowly cured or are sold off, when that hasn’t been an issue for years. Today, it’s all about F&F increasingly pristine portfolios possibly encountering future credit risk.

However, that hasn’t stopped Corker from uttering—as he has many times—the GSEs are “hedge funds” (once again, an out of touch but “hot” sounding charge); or  they engaged in “private gain and public loss;” they should be abolished; investors should “short” their stocks, and most recently, maybe they could be “utilities.”

He gets attention with his ignorance. Some examples…

Corker: The GSEs are “Hedge Funds”

(Here is a definition of hedge funds.)

“A hedge fund is an investment vehicle and a business structure that pools capital from a number of investors and invests in securities and other instruments.[1] It is administered by a professional management firm, and often structured as a limited partnership, limited liability company, or similar vehicle.[2][3] Hedge funds are generally distinct from mutual funds as their use of leverage is not capped by regulators and distinct from private equity funds as the majority of hedge funds invest in relatively liquid assets.[4][5]

The name "hedge fund" originated from the hedging techniques used by some of the first of these funds. Over time the types and nature of the hedging concepts expanded, as did the different types of investment vehicles. The term came to represent many of these types of investment vehicles, so hedge funds today do not necessarily hedge.[1] Hedge funds invest in a diverse range of markets and use a wide variety of investment styles and financial.[3]

Hedge funds are made available only to certain sophisticated or accredited investors and cannot be offered or sold to the general public.[1]”

Let me count the ways, Senator, the preceding is not what  GSEs are or do and why claiming it shows an out of touch public official.

--Fannie and Freddie finance only one asset, mortgages, and are responsible for providing national liquidity for that product throughout the United States, in all economic environments, good and bad.” Like other large financial institutions, they can’t run from the market.

--They borrow capital in the national and international debt markets and only can securitize mortgages made on US properties.

--Fannie and Freddie actually do hedge their mortgage holdings, with callable debt and derivatives, and actively manage their interest rate risk exposures.

--Fannie and Freddie are highly regulated, with a gaggle of regulatory officials sitting in each of their offices, every business day of the year. Their assets to liability ratios are closely watched and managed by their federal regulator.

--Under current law and the “Third Amendment” agreement--now being heavily challenged in federal court--F&F are not permitted to keep any of the annual earnings and are not permitted to accrue protective capital, beyond a de Minimis amount.

 Does that really sound like a hedge fund operation to you Senator Corker?

Corker: “The GSEs engaged in ‘private gain and public loss.’ ”

I’ve challenged Corker and his staff, at least twice in this blog, to show me one instance where F&F didn’t pay every penny of any of their losses, with their own revenue, until they were forced into conservatorship in 2008.
Freddie Mac and the modern Fannie Mae (which first was a federal agency psawned in Rosevelt’s New Deal) were created in 1970, which means for a combined total of 76 years—until conservatorship—they never needed one penny of federal financial support.

Corker’s taunting jab is a fabrication but makes for great ideological sound bites.

After 2008, Fannie’s and Freddie’s stocks dropped into the dollar per share range, having once traded at $70 to $80 and their shareholders lost billions of dollars in personal wealth. Later F&F’s corporate leadership were vilified, with some forced out of office by politically driven, fictitious regulatory accusations  which later failed judicial scrutiny in the federal courts.
Sounds to me as if Fannie and Freddie suffered a huge amount of private loss.

Corker: Investors should “short” F&F

As I and dozens of other have written, including some to the Senate Ethics Committee, no public officials—let alone a Senator a member of the Banking Committee—offer stock investment commentary about two companies he actively has opposed and authored legislation to abolish.

It’s both unseemly and possibly illegal, displaying bad Senatorial judgment.

Again this “short” call from a Senator who less than two weeks ago would have, if he could have politically disassembled the GSEs. He now says something which has a ring of hope and an operational future for Fannie and Freddie, but no meat on its bones.

Corker: Make F&F “utilities”

Queen: "Another one bites the dust, uh huh, another one....."

That’s how I described Corker’s capitulation in this video report, when he attempts to quash rumors that Administration is discussing recapitalizing the GSEs—which may be true—but suggests, instead, F&F could become housing finance “utilities.”

Do you have a plan Senator Bob or are you just mimicking what you heard Jill Millstein, Tim Howard, Frank Raines, Bill Ackman, Bruce Berkowitz, Mark Zandi or several others say?

In Congress, as you know well Senator Corker, the “Devil always is in the details.” What are your utility proposal’s specifics or were you just again filling the air with “buzz words,” concepts and labels you don’t grasp?

You may get another chance, Senator, if you swear off being punitive and try being constructive.

Let’s the world see a Corker utility legislative plan. Make it more than “Fannie and Freddie run a CSP (common securitization platform) for the TBTF banks or BlackRock or other major financial firms.”

That dog won’t hunt in most places, albeit in Tennessee hinterlands.

You had one bright (yes, a pun!) young guy work on your Corker-Warner bill, before he toddled off to Wall Street and a job with BlackRock.

If you want to still be a “player,” employ another staff person to produce your GSE utility bill. Start by meeting with several of the individuals I listed above, along with others who would—honestly/candidly—educate you about how the mortgage market truly works and what the real interaction in it is between those heavy hitting financial players who collide and occasionally cooperate.

(I wouldn’t be shocked if you found a TBTF bank or two that appreciates/values F&F in their market position, just the way they are now.)

If you really are worried about risk to the government and not—as many of your critics believe—just how to give the big financial guys the entire mortgage market, that lesson can be delivered now. But you need to open your mind, drop your biases, and understand how.

Have your staffer call/contact me and I’ll put together a meeting  for you—which I don’t need to attend--with a half dozen or so utility stakeholders who will describe how this idea might work.

But, keep this in mind. Utilities often are privately owned, regulated, and they generate revenue for their owners. So if you are bothered by the latter keep away from the concept and the buzz word.

Public Utilities, Defined

“Businesses that provide the public with necessities, such as water, electricity, natural gas, and telephone and telegraph communication.

A public utility is a business that furnishes an everyday necessity to the public at large.

Public utilities provide water, electricity, natural gas, telephone service, and other essentials. Utilities may be publicly or privately owned, but most are operated as private businesses.

Typically a public utility has a Monopoly on the service it provides. It is more economically efficient to have only one business provide the service because the infrastructure required to produce and deliver a product such as electricity or water is very expensive to build and maintain.

A consequence of this monopoly is that federal, state, and local governments regulate public utilities to ensure that they provide a reasonable level of service at a fair price.

“A public utility is entitled to charge reasonable rates for its product or service. Rates are generally established according to statutes and regulations.”

What Others Are Saying

Presidential Matters

Hillary Does "Benghazi" On Thursday. (My bet is that she gives better than she gets, because the hearing process is so clumsy and she will take advantage of that as a sharp witness.)

Oh, Oh Marco Rubio

Trump and Megyn Fighting, Again??

Dem Debate

Hillary Clinton prevailed in the Democratic debate, but almost as significantly her comments and demeanor, plus Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) hammering the case for how the middle class has been left behind, will expose the participants in the next GOP debate for what they haven’t said about the middle class and other “bread and butter issues.”

From Wash Post on 10-14, James Hohmann

— Hillary Rodham Clinton was the only candidate on stage last night who looked like a plausible president. She had gravitas and filled the stage, while her four rivals came across as unelectable, unserious or both. In short, she solidified her status as the Democratic front-runner. Clinton’s strong performance will, at least temporarily, quiet doubts among party elites and make it less likely that Joe Biden enters the race.

The conventional wisdom among Washington elites that this was a T.K.O for HRC cemented overnight. This morning’s clips are, by far, the best Clinton has enjoyed all year. From nonpartisan reporters to thought leaders across the spectrum, there was a near consensus that Hillary won.

Wash Post 10-15, Hohmann, the next day

THE BIG IDEA: Hillary Clinton’s still got 99 problems, and Benghazi is one.
Dan Balz, warning that the reviews of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s debate performance were “perhaps somewhat too positive,” delivers a reality check on The Post’s front page this morning: “There is a difference between turning in a good debate performance and fundamentally changing voters’ perceptions. Anyone who doubts that should look back to Mitt Romney’s presentation in the first debate against President Obama in October 2012. Romney overwhelmed Obama that night and was judged the clear winner. But he was still saddled with questions about his candidacy and with the underlying forces in the campaign, which ultimately helped Obama prevail.”


Nine major debate issues which the D’s discussed, but which the GOP totally refused to raise.

Who got what valuable ($$$$)  time in Dem Debate?

Fannie and Freddie Matters

White House to push back on Political Alpha suggestions this week, as per Bloomberg’s Cheyenne Hopkins.

Bethany McLean’s 10-15 column in the Sunday Washington Post “Outlook” section.

(Post editors must have thought McLean said she was writing about “Banana and Eddie,” when they agreed to carry her positive GSE article.)


Mario Ugoletti, Gone But Hardly Forgotten


Joe Destefano on S&P GSE report

Hindes and Biden


Letter in Nashville Tennessean 
on Senator Corker’s Comments

Corker biased on GSE reform

After watching the interview Sen. Bob Corker, R-Chattanooga, gave to CNBC on Oct. 7, it is obvious that he has lost all objectivity in regards to government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform.

Sen. Corker appears to be obsessed with a handful of hedge fund managers that own stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Corker’s crusade is to punish a few at the expense of tens of thousands of common shareholders.

To witness a sitting senator call for investors to short sell a stock on national television is mind boggling.

To make matters worse, that same senator also is actively engaged in creating legislation pertaining to those same stocks.

That is at best foolish and at the worst, illegal.

It is abundantly clear that Sen. Corker is allowing his personal grudges to trump the important process of GSE reform.

If Sen. Corker cannot set his personal feelings aside, he should resign his position with the Senate Banking and Finance Committee immediately.

Daniel Hutcheson
Portland 3714

Bank Matters

Banks Have Big Oil Debt Worries banks-jpmorgan-bank-of-america/index.html

Old article but explains why banks keep up their business aberrance.


Inside Mortgage Finance’s Brandon Ivey reports on Fed study saying mortgage lending profitable for small banks

1,000 Banks Can’t Be Wrong: Mortgage Activities Profitable for Smaller Depositories By Brandon Ivey

In the years after the financial crisis, returns on mortgage-banking activities have been more profitable for smaller banks than for large banks, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve.

In an analysis of about 1,000 banks, William Bassett, a deputy associate director, and John Driscoll, a senior economist, found that returns on mortgage sales and securitization have been higher for community banks than for larger banks.

Community banks also had higher returns on assets and equity than larger banks, and the share of community banks engaged in mortgage banking has increased in recent years.

The Fed researchers analyzed call report data spanning the start of 2007 through the end of 2014. “All told, these data suggest that smaller banks have not been, on net, deterred from engaging in sales and securitization of mortgages, have become a more important part of the market, and have profited from their activities, Bassett and Driscoll said.


Foreign Policy Matters

China Selling Treasury Securities


Maloni, 10-19-2015

Monday, October 12, 2015

Political Alpha, Angry Corker, the Speaker’s Job

Major Buzz Material Last Week,
Poor Sen. Corker, Speaker's Race

Last week we saw Political Alpha, kind of new-to-the-GSE scene, but a decade old DC political/financial analytical group, issue a “shake up the community” report, claiming the White House was busy behind the scenes, quietly (not anymore if they were!), considering F&F recap and release options, in anticipation of some possible needed fast footwork.

This immediately gave rise to three major entwining stories which got consumed, chewed up, and conflated in the media, Blogosphere and on Twitter.

1) The PA article, itself, discussing a GSE thinking change at the WH;
2) A talked about (likely imagined) 100 page document, spelling out those changes and containing arguments for same;
3) And a search for any proof that the WH actually is considering a tactical change from its current support for doing away with F&F.

My take, today. The first one is true, the second likely not true (although the article could have been a forward to it); and the last one cannot be said, yet, to exist or not exist.

Parsing these, I found that various parties were commenting—and confusing--one or more of these segments, only one of which unequivocally exists, and that was the article by Political Alpha’s Andrew Taylor, saying the WH is working to some degree on a possible GSE position change.

From there on it gets a little shaky.

That PA article—reflecting work done for one of its clients—somehow leaked (from PA or elsewhere?) and excited a lot of people (including me), got comingled with the claim of a “100 page report of options or advocacy sent to the Admin.”

But, “All the King’s horses and all the king’s men” this past week couldn’t locate this mystery doc, ergo…..

The secret 100 page doc probably doesn’t exist, suggsting the Obama Admin is looking at recap and release may be accurate. 

But, even so, there were more DC people and others calling that Admin flip flop part of the story “BS” than those substantiating any Admin reconsideration. 

My “not happening” evidence is my exchange with a  an invested senior trade association exec--close to the WH-- who told me he had heard nothing of the article and the Admin was going to issue a statement shooting down the report (which has yet to happen);  numerous contacts with the GSE “chattering people,” which produced no real confirmation signs;  a curt rejection by the infamous blogger “Tim Howard 717” (not the real Tim Howard), who called the report “a parody”; a prominent national scribe who told me if the White House had changed its anti-GSE stance, he would have written it; and later the emphatic comments by a frustrated Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) calling the report’s existence nonsense.

People asked me, “How would Corker know?”

Simple. He’s been an Admin ally on its GSE jihad. The WH worked through him and supported the Corker-Warner bill, and anything else that would shutter the GSEs and—for a long time—he was one of the few Senate Republicans cooprating with Obama on his nuclear deal, until he didn't.

For those reasons, I believe, if President Obama went to a new GSE playbook, someone inside would clue Corker.

I contacted Andrew Taylor, the printed story’s author,  but he politely told me PA doesn’t speak “with the press” about its work.

I laughed, told him that I had been insulted and called a lot of bad things in my life, but never “media.” I also pointed out to him that at least one reporter, the New York Post’s Michelle Celarier,  who wrote about his article, spoke to someone at PA who told her the story was legitimate, as she later tweeted.

(I should note for purposes of my own notoriety, when I contacted Taylor, he told me he was familiar with some of my blogging. I wasn’t sure if he was “damning me with faint praise” or he fainted, damn, with no praise.)

I hope Taylor’s account is true and that the Administration really is reappraising and squirming, having realized that some of its officials may have lied or broken the law, and that one of the many pending court cases will produce a finding for plaintiffs which might blow the cover from some bad ill conceived, damaging Treasury actions.

There have been other reports—published in the past several weeks-- suggesting there’s been a mood change in DC from winding down the GSEs to looking at alternatives, that could include recap and release in a different format.

But, that isn’t new; my friend, the ubiquitous Glen Bradford, told me last week, the WH reconsideration has been going on for more than a month.

Unfortunately, Taylor didn’t respond to questions I sent him, including, “Why did your piece come out now?”

Tuesday’s BPC GSE Reform Conference

Tuesday, October 6, had to be rough day for Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), when he--along with his colleague, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)--addressed the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) conference on GSE reform legislation, albeit separately.

In front of the BPC crowd, Corker was forced to eat crow, at least to the extent that any elected official admits his political timing was off and his legislative solution came up short (not to mention the questionable quality of his legislative solution).

Last year, Corker and Warner introduced a bill based on a BPC proposal to do away with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, over scary undefined time frame, and replace them with a new federal insurance agency, along with making other mortgage market changes.

Speaking last Tuesday, Corker admitted failure. The Corker-Warner bill got little traction in the Senate Banking Committee last year, and he told the BPC attendees there will no major Fannie and Freddie legislation until we have a new President in 2017.

Trey Garrison 's Housingwire conference article.

Video of BPC conference.

Corker with Santelli on CNBC

That disquieting, embarrassing news and the mood it generated must have figured into Corker's unusual outburst on Wednesday when—being interviewed by CNBC’s on air financial talent, Rick Santelli—Corker fussed and fumed against the PA document mentioned above—which also that day had been touted by Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman in a different venue—and then Senator Corker told Santelli there was “no truth” to the report and investors should "short” GSE stocks.

Did Senator Corker violate any formal Senate ethics by advocating short-selling the stocks of two publicly traded entities he has actively opposed for years? Only the Senate Ethics Committee can say for certain. But, anger or not, his remarks didn't sound right to me.

It certainly was an un-senatorial expression of frustration from Corker, talking down a publicly traded US company.

I urged (and urge) people to contact the Senate Ethics Committee about Corker’s words.

Any Senator, certainly one on the Senate Banking Committee, should stay away from advocating any purchase or sale of US stocks, since most of the firms required in those market transactions are within the committee’s jurisdiction, including the two he suggested dumping.

Corker's action were unnecessary and unseemly..

Bethany McLean, interviewed later on CNBC, had the best comment about Corker’s stock recommendation.

Here is the comment I sent to various people, including the media, after I heard about Corker’s “short” advice.

Calling the Senate Ethics Committee;
Have a situation, here in the Corker office!

What a thoroughly stupid, unethical, and just plain dumb thing to do.

I am speaking about Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) going on national television with Rick Santelli, today, and suggesting investors “short” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stocks.

Why would this public official—or any public official--tout buying or selling stock in any publicly held company?

The man is a GSE critic, fine. But he has his DNA all over legislation to abolish and otherwise handcuff the companies and certainly their current public shareholders. (Can the Admin—owners of 79% of the entities--be happy with their guy Bobby?).

The Senate Ethics office immediately should be asked to look into Corker’s antics. 

Plus, there are more than 20 (some consolidated) court cases pending against the US Treasury over Fannie and Freddie mistreatment. 

How can Corker know what will happen with those cases, especially the Delaware case, which on the face of it, seems to suggest Treasury had no authority vis-à-vis Delaware corporations (which Fannie is)  to manipulate the preferred stock Treasury created in Fannie and Freddie as a preparation for its 2008 takeover called “conservatorship.”
Someone should give Senator Corker a ride out of town on a Tennessee walking horse!

Maloni, 10-7-2015

DC All Agog Over Speaker’s Election

I don’t know, really, whether it was the lack of support from a stubborn, insensitive minority bloc in the House GOP Caucus, the Congressman not feeling up the Herculean task, or dark rumors of extramarital antics, but with the departure of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Cal) from the Speaker’s race, the House R’s, in crisis mode, are scrambling to get some credibility traction and hope to talk Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) into accepting the thankless post, even though Ryan has twice said “no.”

It’s legally possible for the House GOP to choose a non-member of Congress (True and Newt’s advised he’s available) for Speaker, but I doubt these wingnuts would go that far, bust tradition, and choose a non-sitting Congressman, to be the individual behind the Vice President to succeed to the presidency if both higher officials were incapacitated or deceased.

All of this high political drama and low life civic behavior screams that these GOP extremists—who turned against Boehner and curdled on McCarthy’s elevation-- can’t govern or won’t cooperate with anyone who disagrees with their “let’s roll back the clock to the 1950’s” agenda.

Ryan is a logical choice, had a run as Mitt Romney’s VP candidate, and enjoys the respect of the people who failed to support McCarthy. But Ryan may not want a job which grinds up reasonable people who must deal with so many unreasonable ones wearing the same cloth and colors.

If Ryan doesn’t pick up the Speaker’s cudgels almost anyone with a gaggle of supporters could win what until now has been a coveted position.

Does the nation have to worry about HBC Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) being tabbed and then being one step away from the Presidency???

No, the House GOP wouldn’t be that whacko would they, would they?

No matter how much some people enjoy seeing these Tea Party crazies in angry disarray, both Boehner and McCarthy opposed two extremes the TPers want. No increase in the federal government’s debt authority upon which thousands of mandated federal payments—for social security recipients to sovereign foreign debt holders, US companies, universities, farmers, hospitals, school teachers, other elderly and poor, police and firemen, and many more—depend and can’t easily replace or substitute that revenue.

The second one is a “hold our breath and turn blue” refusal to fund the federal government for the coming fiscal year, if Planned Parenthood isn’t defunded as part of it.

Any Braveheart seeking this job—if he or she is strategic--in return for taking the post if they win, should get in writing a pledge form every Member of the House GOP agreeing to vote for those two actions the new Speaker must pursue quickly, thereby saving the nation from more fiscal calamity and the GOP from its extremist element, which doesn’t support either of these matters.

This is a comment, from a letter in the U.S. edition of Al Jazeera, on McCarthy being forced out of the Speaker’s race.

“Another victory for the Dixie dumbass wing of the Republican Party.”


What Others Are Saying

Presidential Corner

Trump Pranks Rubio

Trump and “Carried Interest”

Barney Helping Hillary


Financial Regulation in HRC’s Administration?

Bernie is a $$ Raising Machine!

Fannie and Freddie Corner

Michelle Celarier’s NY Post article, containingthe Political Alpha initial story. 


Bill Isaac in American Banker


Investors Unite’s GSE Timeline

Investors Unite has created a very helpful GSE timeline, available on its website, for those keeping track of important Fannie and Freddie events and when they occurred.

GSE Links

As a remainder, also very useful if the “GSE Links” website where daily you can find the latest Fannie and Freddie info, as well as court case updates.

Houston Chronicle reviews Bethany McLean’s book.


Rep. Martha Blackburn (R-N.C.)

It is worth noting that Rep. Martha Blackburn (R-N.C.), a member of the House Banking Committee, and one of the other candidates mentioned for the Speaker’s job, introduced legislation to stop the GSE sweeps, although not use the revenue for recapitalization and release,

“On March 26, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a bill that would stop profits made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from being swept into the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Instead, the Enterprise Secondary Reserve Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act of 2015 (H.R. 1673) would require profits to be placed in a secondary reserve fund that would cover any losses incurred by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac due to a housing downturn.”

Tweet from Michelle Celarier and more -re-Tweets.

Bank Corner

Bank Profits

The next time you hear any bank spokesman lamenting about their inability to generate revenue, share these facts with them.

and from Inside Mortgage Finance

Mortgage-Banking Profits Up More Than 50 Percent in 2Q15

"Banks and thrifts boosted their mortgage-banking profits by 52.2 percent in the second quarter. Nearly everyone enjoyed the good times, with just 12 banks recording the quarter’s results in red ink. See how the quarter played out and study comprehensive charts providing numbers for all banks and thrifts for mortgage earnings, sales activity, repurchase activity and servicing rights assets in the 2Q15 edition of IMFs Mortgage Profitability Report."


General Politics Corner

Another stone aimed at the House R’s and Rep. Chaffetz over Benghazi.

“So, what you’re suggesting Mulder is that….”


Those GOP Romantics!

What Ryan Has to Weigh if he Runs for Speaker?

Foreign Policy Corner

Is this good news or bad; Do I cheer or get depressed?

and this quote from a Sunday CNN article about the Iraqi air force attack on ISIL leaders.

"An Islamic State fighter reached by telephone could not confirm whether Baghdadi had been in a convoy that was struck, but said the group would fight on whatever his fate: 'Even if he was martyred then it will not affect Islamic State. We will lose a leader but there are a thousand Baghdadis.' "


Maloni, 10-12-2015

Happy Columbus Day and Watch the 10-13 Dem Debate

Monday, October 5, 2015

"Pipe up, stand up, stand up for your rights.."

Coming Up this week in DC

The Bipartisan Policy Center is hosting a GSE conference on Thursday, featuring Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.). The politicos are followed by a panel of industry types, moderated by Harvard’s Nic Retsinas.

What interests me here is one of the panelists is Mike Fratantoni, the Mortgage Bankers Association, economist and regulatory chief.

Since his boss, David Stevens staked out that he (and presumably the MBA) supports the continuation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (a view which had some of us scratching our heads, since it seemed far away from his and the association’s anti-GSE actions), I will be curious to see if Fratantoni stands up and repeats the MBA support for extending the GSE operational lives (for reasons like “our smaller members need them” or “we don’t want the big guys eating the world”) or if he evades the subject, raising additional questions of where the MBA is on championing the two entities most responsible for MBA members able to conveniently sell mortgages they originate into the secondary mortgage market.

The mortgage community is watching Mike (and David).

Oh, as a small reminder, all of the reform legislation which Corker and Warner have been associated would do away with the GSE's and cede the mortgage markets to the big banks.

At the ABS East 2015 Conference, last week……

A panel of former GSE regulators, Armando Falcon, Jim Lockhart, and Ed DeMarco, tried their best to rewrite history while collectively covering their butts, hoping nobody had the facts to challenge them.

I wasn’t there but a reliable sources informed me that each of the former F&F regulators left the stage with noses much longer than when they started their spinning. (Think Pinocchio!)

And bad for them, I also have some facts which I believe are incontrovertible.

Here are Mark Adelson’s notes on the Miami event; Adelson is a principal at The Bond Factory.

Now, speaking only for Fannie—although I believe the same lobbying principle applied to Freddie, as well--in my 10 years of lobbying during OFHEO’s existence, we were ordered, ordered (first by Jim Johnson and then later Frank Raines) to never lobby and/or interfere with OFHEO’s congressional budget discussions, negotiations or proceedings and we didn’t.

Just a further explanation for those not familiar with the budget process. Leading up to January of any year, negotiations inside the (any) Administration between an agency and OMB officials occurs and then an annual spending figure is agreed to for that government agency/program. That’s the figure which is sent to the Hill as part of the President’s annual federal spending request (Budget), which traditionally is sent at the end of January or early February, to allow Congress to produce spending figures for the coming fiscal year beginning on October 1.

My best evidence for the validity of my “non-interference” statement—especially when one hears all of the OFHEO caterwauling about the GSEs army of lobbyists--is OFHEO got every dollar, i.e. never received one dollar less, the WH Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sought for them, first in the Clinton administration and later the Bush administration annual budget requests.

Repeat, OFHEO got every dollar OMB asked for and Fannie Mae (nor Freddie)--despite the OFHEO accusations--tried to derail the process or their funds.

Now all three may have wanted more from OMB, but that’s an internecine Administration debate, much different than saying the agency received less operating funds because of outside congressional lobbying.

My Operation “Pipe Up!”

Here is a task for us all, since I/we know the challenge is coming.

During the various presidential campaign machinations, a Republican--but possibly a Democrat--will try and score points berating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (It didn’t work for John McCain, but that won’t stop the newbies.)

The first time any presidential candidate in either party negatively mentions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we “Pipe Up”--and explode with information setting the record straight--to media, other candidates, the networks, and the individual himself or herself.
(For purposes of this exercise, I am not counting that Carly Fiorina mentioned the GSEs in her first “kids’ debate,” which preceded the then front runners, of which she now is one. But, remember, she said it once and could say it again.)

Let’s do our “Chubby Checker”

Here is my twist (think guys!).

As someone who has been trying to tell the Fannie Mae/GSE story for years, I say eschew that initial approach because it’s almost is too complex to tell simply.

You’ll first have to talk about GOP political crusades, amateur or eye popping regulatory abuse, blatant dishonesty, and Treasury’s constitutional violations—spanning two administrations--which produced more than 20 HERA and Third Amendment lawsuits today pending against the government.

When you do that, watch eyes glaze over.

Yep, it’s a very tough row to hoe, but my suggestion is to reverse the telling and not talk about Fannie and Freddie.  You’ll get to the Fannie and Freddie part soon enough, but start with another chilling certainty.

Here is your immediate WEAPON

A majority of the government, political, ideological, and mortgage industry bad guys who want to abolish Fannie and Freddie would replace them with some configuration of the nation’s largest financial institutions (who in turn want more federal guarantees against their mortgage losses).

That’s what we talk about and shout from the rooftops.

They want to Kill F&F and Replace them with ….!

Face it, despite our best communications efforts, we won’t be successful repairing F&F’s image, maybe a new President could, but not us.

But we could have a helluva lot of fun and open some knowing/understanding eyes with a full discussion of who/what the GSE enemies would substitute for Fannie and Freddie.

As “public educators,” we need to explain that most of the mortgage system alternatives coming from GSE opponents would give the primary and secondary mortgage market controls to America’s major financial institutions, with practical control falling to the dreaded Too Big to Fail (TBTF) banks, which themselves are GSE’s (Government Sponsored Enterprises) of a slightly different sort.

That connection shouldn’t be hard to show with the Administration’s mortgage reform positioning and the Senate Corker--Warner legislative exercises, which last year later became the Johnson-Crapo bill.

The American people generally dislike the behemoth financial institutions—for many of the right reasons-- but often have no substantive idea of their many specific transgressions, or the severity, variety, and the naked consumer aggression the bank wrongdoings represent.

Think systemic industry aberrance, as in “It runs in big bank DNA to cheat the government and seek profit, no matter the rules.”

The immense crap wall around Fannie and Freddie, built and maintained, by their business and political enemies, may make GSE rehabilitation tough, but we need to remind American consumers/voters of this sobering “successors” fact.
Most who would do away with Fannie and Freddie, substituting some other lending mechanism, would put in charge of our mortgage needs some of the worst financial predators in our nation’s history, which still continue the rampage against supervisory rules and regulations, years after the 2008 financial meltdown—when their actions, more than the GSEs, nearly crushed our domestic economy as well as the world’s.

It’s one of the reasons why Bethany McLean, author of “On Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants,” believes that Fannie and Freddie are positive market forces, which still are needed for their mortgage standardization, efficiency, fair pricing, and systemic reliability—all of which benefit American home buyers—but, also, are irreplaceable as a bulwark against big bank market and political power.

When you next have the opportunity to discuss the state of our national mortgage market, assume your audience doesn’t know or misunderstands what happened to the GSEs. But, be sure and detail what the GSE critics want to run the mortgage markets in Fannie’s and Freddie’s place.

Arm and inform yourself beyond the “Banks are bad” line and educate and advocate. I believe that it will be far easier then to discuss Fannie’s and Freddie’s future.

Here is a general list from the Financial Times of $150 Billion in US banks fines in the past few years, but this article doesn’t give color to many of their heinous “reach around” (the regs) schemes, like ripping off veterans’ housing programs, laundering money for Mexican Drug lords, doing business with US enemies and other extremists in the Middle East, rigging the London Interbank Borrowing Rate (LIBOR), to which most US adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are measured/indexed. (Now you know another reason why most banks wanted to sell you an ARM rather than a fixed rate loan).

Bank Violations and fines in 2013


Bank Violations and fines in 2014

Bank fines and violations in 2015

The billions of dollars in fines paid in recent years for these offenses are spelled out in bank regulatory agency press releases which the public seldom sees or reads, although the public’s correct instincts are to distrust the major financial depositaries.

So, fan those flames, let your audiences decide who the greater threat is Fannie and Freddie, now well-regulated, successful (albeit denied capital by Treasury), and unlikely to return to the norm of 2008, or the big banks and their cohorts, which never have stopped their financial rampage?

What Others Are Saying

Presidential Corner

US News Says 2016 nomination belongs to Cruz or Rubio (with the R’s at my Friday poker game saying it will be Rubio).


Enjoy him while you can, Rand Paul says Cruz “pretty much done in the Senate.” (But, Maloni says, he could come back as Trump’s VP.)


Huckabee’s Campaign Targets lobbyists and donors. (I am certain Huckabee-backer Ronald Cameron has no political agenda he might want to see his fellow Razorback implement.)

'WASHINGTON: IT'S A STRIP CLUB': Mike Huckabee released a new ad taking aim at K Street, charging "the political class dances for the donor class," over an image of crumpled dollar bills near a stripper pole. The super PAC supporting the former Arkansas governor's campaign raised $3 million, almost its entire haul, from Ronald Cameron of Little Rock, the CEO of the agribusiness giant Mountaire.

Jeb on Community College Killings

What Trump Said

Fannie and Freddie Corner

Banks still abuse after settlements


Inside Mortgage Finance’s Carissa Chappell on “Jumpstart GSE Bill.

 GSE Reform Bill Reintroduced but ‘Passable’ Reform at a Standstill
By Carisa Chappell
A streamlined version of the “Jumpstart GSE Reform Act, ” recently reintroduced in Congress then placed on hold and reintroduced again, could be considered before the end of the year.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker, R-TN, Mark Warner, D-VA, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, would bar the Treasury from selling its stock in the two GSEs and prevent increases in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranty fees to pay for other government spending.
An earlier version of the bill that Corker tried to fast-track through the Senate did not include the prohibition on using g-fees to pay for unrelated government spending. Warren reportedly refused to back that version, and the Senate instead passed a much narrower bill that only repeals pay hikes provided to Fannie’s and Freddie’s chief executive officers this year.
With Congress pressing to enact legislation to keep the government running beyond a short-term continuing resolution, industry groups are concerned that GSE g-fees could be tapped again. For more details, see the new edition of Inside Mortgage Finance.

 “Conservatorship wasn’t necessary”….


Investors Unite

Looking for hope on this legislative possibility, one GSE veteran noted, "If you want to find two Senators to guarantee a provision will die before it hits the floor or get altered, start with Corker and Warner.”


Wash Post carries (positive) review of McLean’s book

Wayne Olsen on the GSE courts cases.

Hedge Funds in the “Neighborhoods”

Maloni puts on his best Don Quixote outfit and seeks audience with Post editorial types. (Since I haven’t heard from the Post’s Mr. Hiatt, I assume I am back to windmill tilting.)

First off, I can't offer a huge rationale for you meeting with me, save being 45 year subscriber to the Washington Post and someone who enjoys reading newspapers, as well as the new electronic media.

The purpose for my request is to get some insight into the Post's editorial (and reportorial) thinking on a subject I think I know well, federal support for home ownership and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in particular.

Again, yesterday, the Post editorialized against Fannie and Freddie and I am mystified why the paper has such a bleak outlook for these local companies, which employ probably 10,000--12,000 residents in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, major federal taxpayers (plus providing the Treasury with all of their current earnings) and, ironically, in the case of one them, moving into the Post's physical location after new construction.

As I often explain in my sometimes letters to the Post editor, I worked on the Hill for a dozen years, at the Fed for Paul Volcker, and at Fannie Mae for 21 years--as their chief lobbyist-- before retiring almost 11 years ago. For the past five years, I've written a financial services/GSE blog, which from time to time mentions the Post. I don't represent anyone, not a housing or bank interest, no trade association or an individual institution.

I blog (and produce typos) and I read and talk

I understand the call for more private capital, less government involvement, but based on my near 40 year involvement with these issues, no comprehensive alternative system I've seen (in the various commission reports, legislative proposals, etc. etc.) has the consumer benefits, the systemic efficiency, common pricing, and standardization of the Fannie/Freddie model.

Not that they can't be improved or that they didn't make mistakes in the post-2005 era (when competent leadership was forced out in a regulatory putsch) but doing away with them and substituting--over an ill-defined but certainly lengthy, chaos inducing period--some large bank dominated system, as most of the hill and this White House advocates, seems so unwise and chaotic. That approach ignores the history of just 7 years ago, when with no Fannie and Freddie competition the large banks and investment banks unleashed $2.7 Trillion of their own (created outside the Fannie and  Freddie systems) toxic mortgage backed securities. The banks sold them worldwide, with inflated labels and insufficient backing, so that our US real estate downturn had dire international consequences. Bank PLS (private label securities) losses were horrendous, three times larger than losses from Fannie and Freddie backed mortgage bonds.

Every week in my blog, I try and list the latest major banks transgression or rule busting--which have been lengthy, frequent, and quite varied offenses-- to remind people why these institutions hardly are the correct stewards of the nation's primary and secondary mortgage markets.

So, that's where I am coming from and I truly hope you could find time  to discuss with me--maybe with some of your team present--some of these matters in your office or outside over coffee.

Why might this might make sense from the Post's or your own perspective? If it is one thing I've learned in dealing with Congress, other policy makers, media, a plethora of federal agencies, many people think they know and understand what Fannie and Freddie did leading up to the 2008 financial Armageddon, but invariably they are wrong or they don't have the entire story.

That's a significant issue when elements of both congressional parties, not to mention a new President, will be looking soon answer, "What do we do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?"

Thanks, Bill Maloni

Bank Screwup Corner


Barry Ritholz says lenders engage with hyperbole over new disclosure rules.

Bernanke says banker should have gone to jail. (There’s still time!)

Politics/Government Corner

Delay in House sub-Speaker elections?

McCarthy Says Benghazi probe all about Hillary; but others R’s say he misspoke???

Schumer-Ryan Highway & Tax Talks?

Was Rep. Chaffetz upset with the Secret Service because it once had rejected him?

Foreign Policy Corner
Why Putin is desperate for some international acceptance? (The same reasons why Obama should keep the screws tight.)

Is Syria Putin’s Tar Baby?


Maloni, 10-5-2015