Wednesday, April 1, 2020

FHFA anthem: "Go slow, go slow, it's back to work we go."




All around, clomp, drag, clomp, drag

When President Trump last year nominated Mark Calabria to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency and become the GSE’s new Conservator plus safety and soundness regulator, Calabria, knowing his inclinations and biases, wisely, invested in a pair of 30-pound, wraparound Velcro ankle weights. Wearing them all of the time was clumsy, but he knew it would facilitate his preferred slow-walking policy, clomp, drag.
Everything GSE which came to his desk, got a clomp, drag. 
Calabria thinking:
“Let’s hire some outside capital consultant,” clomp, drag; “let’s bring in some new (conservative) staff,” clomp, drag; “let’s push back the date to publish the GSE capital regs,” clomp, drag; “let’s hire new office painters and paint my walls purple while putting wallpaper in my executive bathroom,” clomp, drag.
Dutifully the Director wore his weights, his calf muscles grew wondrously, but, unfortunately, MC forgot to take off his new devices when swimming at the YMCA, last month, and nearly drowned.
And, while he wasn’t a great “clogger” beforehand when he wore the weights he stepped on his wife’s toes so often, she stopped taking him to the neighborhood clog dances.
“Recap and release,” clomp, drag. “Consent decrees,” clomp, drag. Free the GSE Two, clomp, drag!
In light of the COVID-19 crisis and to show POTUS-solidarity, all FHFA employees were directed by their boss to learn how to spell all of those useless/mystery  drugs the President claims just might be the answer to the novel coronavirus infecting all of us, clomp, drag.
To make it easier, MC put this 2-page drug list on cards, and—apparently--most FHFA execs got stuck after the word “aspirin.”
We know what things Calabria doesn’t want the GSEs to do because he finds ways to announce them on his regular trade association speaking circuit.
But last week he was given a stupendously positive  idea and it came from an unusual source, former MBA President, now private citizen, David Stevens, who suggested utilizing the GSEs to help mitigate more mortgage industry problems.
No doubt Stevens’ idea will get a clomp, drag from Calabria because Dave’s ideas make so much sense.
Ponder this, I don’t think I am the only one who has never heard Calabria utter one truly positive word about the GSEs their achievements or their capacity to do more. Not one accolade. It’s like he feels he has he has to apologize for them, rather than see success and utility as civic virtues and celebrate the two mortgage giants he oversees.
For those who haven’t read them, here are Steven’s suggestions as reported by Paul Muolo in Inside Mortgage Finance.
Meanwhile, former FHA commissioner Dave Stevens noted, “Mortgage markets have reached a perilous level of risk. Excess supply of MBS as investors offload/reposition and originator pipelines are large, combined with far fewer buyers than compared to previous corrections are threatening institutions across the country.”
He’s calling on the government to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to bolster their purchases of MBS.
“Today, the GSEs cannot grow their portfolios so they cannot buy, banks are constrained due to regulatory leverage rules enacted post Dodd-Frank, and the Fed [Federal Reserve] has only slightly increased purchase activity, far short of what is needed, Stevens said. “We saw no-bids last week on some agency MBS forward trades. The FHFA [Federal Housing Finance Agency] needs to step in and let the GSEs buy MBS for a temporary period…”
Meanwhile, some, such as Brian Benjamin of Two Rivers Mortgage in northern New Jersey, are asking the FHFA to hike the GSE loan limit to $1 million from $510,400 currently.

Clearly, this is too progressive a bite for FHFA and Calabria’s mob, although the GSEs years ago, at the direction of Congress on an emergency basis, once bought loans above their set single-family ceilings when the “jumbo” market (loans above the GSE single-family ceilings) froze. Obviously, when they were permitted to have portfolios, both Fannie and Freddie invested in MBS, often guaranteed by the other.

If the GSEs once again could –temporarily, say for the next six months or until the end of the year, buy MBS—that GSE purchase activity would keep mortgage securities rates down which then translate into lower prices individuals pay when they finance a home purchase.

One would think those actions would complement what the Fed and Treasury are doing. But, I suspect they would make the GSEs stronger, in terms of value to the national economy and generate greater income for Treasury, which is where they likely run afoul of Calabria's private policy thoughts.

What do you say Director Mark, has David Stevens titillated you or will you just clomp, drag his suggestion.

President Trump and his COVID-19 response

I won’t prattle about this matter, since it’s all over the front pages and the airways, except on Fox, and is too deadly.

But real leaders don’t spend weeks lying to their citizens about the health threat, downplaying obvious medical facts, and trying to blame everyone within pointing reach for his anti-science ignorance.

In wartimes—as he claims we—he’s waited too long and directed industry too inconsistently  to facilitate producing needed medical equipment, and geometric amounts of testing supplies, gowns and masks, and crucial ventilators and related materials.

A confident and capable President doesn’t criticize the Governors who have stepped up to prepare and protect their states, while he ruminates from afar.
Ten weeks ago, he dismissed evidence that the novel coronavirus had begun to infect the nation, because we had so few infected citizens and resulting deaths.

Yesterday, the Admin suggested the death toll could be somewhere between 100,000 or a million and conditions will last 18 months.

Get off your ass Mr. President, you have plenty of tricks remaining to influence November's election and no doubt are heating them up.
So, stop trying to assuage your red state political machine (most of these states which haven’t put in place or enforced staying in place using social distancing and other tools) and see their recalcitrance as the source for future health problems for the rest of us.

Donald John Trump you are the President of the United States, act like it.

Maloni, 4-1-2020



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Which pea is hiding the federal COVID-19 relief. Is it under this one, that one, or how about...??


Things I think…. 

….especially when the nation and the world are spinning in COVID-19 misinformation and fears.
A million years ago when I worked at Fannie Mae, management always was sensitive to non-mortgage market situations—like coronavirus fallout--causing us to issue relaxed repayment and foreclosure rules to our lenders and seller servicers, whose staffs interacted directly with mortgagors and are paid by Fannie and Freddie to be that interface.
A few days ago, responding to possible COVID-19 financial dislocations, this GSE standard announcement came from the office of FHFA Director Mark Calabria.
Why?
Why didn’t he allow managements, at both places, to make that public call?
The same novel coronavirus problems—with great delight and satisfaction at the FHFA, I suspect—generated a Calabria public announcement that his GSE risk-based capital rules will be delayed, too. (Again, no surprise to the cognoscenti.)
If I didn’t know better, I might assume the Director—who could be missing all of that ersatz self-generated applause and adulation from his whirlwind tour of trade association speaking events—was seeking to take credit for various natural and automatic GSE actions????
He wouldn’t do that, would he?
I also hope Secretary Mnuchin’s recent hiring of former Fannie executive David Brooks--brought into the OCC (also part of Treasury)--will allow the Secretary to task Brooks with completing what Craig Philips, a former Mnuchin aide, all but did before departing Treasury, i.e. publishing the final rules to end GSE Conservatorship.
I guess Director Calabria hasn’t hired enough Conservative cronies for his comfort or spent enough GSE income on outside consultants, yet, to want to use Brooks’ excellent help?
Calabria appears always to take advantage of delay and obstacles to justify slow-walking every official act he takes.
One day, I expect to hear a morning weather report stating, “It’s warm in DC today and the sun is up, which is bad news for the GSEs, since FHFA’s risk-based capital rules will be held up, again, until more moderate temps prevail.”
I wonder if/when it will occur to the POTUS that quickly ending this charade and freeing the GSEs this year might be an election plus for him?
The President seems overwhelmed and nasty—almost as much as the voters—with media challenges and questions showing the Emperor isn't  wearing any clothes!” 

COVID-19 and President Trump 

How can four dozen NBA players get tested for COVID-19, but thousands of other less prominent folks (many NBA fans of those same teams) not be able to find or qualify for those much-in- demand health tests???
I don’t condemn President Donald Trump for that. Selfish people with resources always will find a way to put “I” before “we” and bully their way to the front of any line.
Where I do blame the President is for his personal ignorance, arrogance, and his professional/civic irresponsibility for NOT recognizing and dramatically addressing the COVID-19 problem weeks ago.
Because of his bias, crass and jaundiced approach to science and medical information, he has been culpably misleading the American people from Day One about the COVID-19 risk to us, our families, and our nation.
He is guilty of underemphasizing the threat, the medical severity of the issue, mixing in xenophobia, with his Admin’s lack of any meaningful early federal response to supporting local/state governments which now are trying desperately to deal with their part of this pandemic. 
Governors Mike Dewine (R-Ohio), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), and Gavin Newsome (D-Cal.), and others have displayed far more courage, comprehension, and aggressive management than Mr. Trump.
He first claimed COVID-19 was “under control in the U.S."; then said warm weather would solve the problem; finally, COVID-19 will be no worse than previous flu forms. 
But Americans in growing numbers then began getting infected with coronavirus and dying.
Public health matters got dramatically worse after his early mendacities--with worse medical and economic woes predicted--but he’s still at it
Just last week, almost pathetically, on national TV, the POTUS peddled inaccuracies to a very frightened U.S. public--desperate for urgent help and accurate information--suggesting COVID-19 “cures” might exist in current anti-malaria vaccines, which haven’t been tested for their relevance for coronavirus (and which would take months to produce); repeated his canard about the easy availability of COVID-19 tests materials and test availability, which is getting walked back daily by medical officials; erred by weeks owing to under-readiness about when and US hospital ships will arrive in New York and on the west coast, both hard-hit COVID-19 areas; and forcefully sought to verbally pummel a reporter who asked him to offer a hopeful statement to the frightened nation.
Has DJT invoked the Defense Production ordering businesses to produce much-needed medical supplies, or not? Did he follow up with any of the US car makers who offered to convert their production lines to build hospital ventilators (see GM's Mary Barra's willingness)? Did he accept Chinese billionaire Jack Ma's offer, almost two weeks ago, to send the United States 500,000 test kits and a million medical masks??
The President has been very clear that he bears no responsibility for any of the errors, poor leadership, lies, and confusion, egomaniacally giving himself a “10” for his Admin’s COVID-19 handling and performance.
I hope all of you, come November, remember this Trump-farce as your 401(K) melts and the presidential election races toward us.
You will have a chance then to repay the President for all of his lassitude, ignorance of science, empty boasting, and unwillingness to listen to the smarter people around him who would tell him when he’s wrong.
Thankfully, Vice President Pence keeps NIH’s Dr. Anthony Fauci and FDA Commissioner Steve Hahn nearby who then regularly correct the President’s tall tales (although that adds to the problem because most people would prefer their President to make the accurate statements, not to be staff-corrected).
And kudos also to CNN’s constant coverage of the President’s COVID-19 hijinks.
Colbert King, writing in the March 21 Washington Post, advises readers who want better health and greater information accuracy to “just ignore President Trump.”

Maloni, 3-22-2020

Thursday, March 12, 2020

This President lies about CVD-19 available test supplies, the ease of getting a test, and a lot more. Why should you trust him?

This blog was drafted but not distributed before the President's disastrous speech last night!

 GSE and Other Things I Think About


Skeptics/Skepticism.
In addition to NAFL, “not being a “%$#@^& lawyer,” I’ve always given credence to stories about UFOs, Bigfoot, and Nessie (if for no other reason than the thousands of sightings all of which can't be imagined or phony).
That’s why I  believe stories about insufficient CVD-19 tests, medical shortages, and current bureaucratic responses to immediate and emergency situations (misplaced allocation of resources). 
Proving I am an equal opportunity doubter, I also believe that some folks, actively, are manipulating GSE and other company stock prices. It’s a variation of buy-low and sell-high. But they better be certain that which they artificially knockdown can come back. 
Whether it’s a major investor--who holds stock they expect to go higher after a near term drop or some nefarious “other”--this feeling is haunting this observer of more than 20 years of anti-GSE shenanigans, twists and turns. Coronavirus scares and POTUS’s good friends—Vlad Putin and the Saudi royal family—clashing and crushing oil prices should not have this impact on Fannie and Freddie stock prices. (BTW. let’s hope the untrustworthy Saudis cripple Vlad’s oil-based economy, since there is nothing good for the US inside Russia or among the country’s leadership, which still screws its citizens).
I also suspect that there is great joy at 400 7th, St, SW, Washington, the address of the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Mark Calabria, the GSEs’ safety and soundness Director and Conservatorship maven, where no good words get spoken.
That’s because anything which makes the GSEs look bad or weaker enhances MC’s megalomania that only he and his little DC posse of incompetents can salvage the secondary mortgage market for the nation.
I am certain—given the level of mortgage finance unsophistication in Washington-- the regular forces who seek to cast the GSEs in the worst possible light and perpetuate disdain—will spin the falling stock prices causing more “bad GSE business model” talk and speculation.
Of course, those same elements will ignore or dismiss for cause the avalanche of future Fannie and Freddie refi business that will hit GSE books for the rest of this year (longer?), owing to the Fed’s recent rate cut, to which the central bank could match in a few more weeks when it meets again. 
Early 2020 F&F business volumes will juice GSE revenue for the next few quarters, as refinancings flood the secondary mortgage market.
That failure to see the trees for the forest certainty includes the “Calabria Posse” using softening stock prices to argue publicly “this” is why FHFA/Calabria need to keep the GSEs right where they are, i.e. under tight administrative control and needing bank-like capital levels.
Of course, I am not sure this logic applies to every business and every industry suffering from massive stock market dislocation. Without doubt, the POTUS will seek to pump cash this election year into many of those suffering commercial interests. But an end to Conservatorship won’t be on that White House list, since the Fed's actions already has assured 2020 GSE business revenues.
Poor Fed Chairman Powell is regularly abused by our President because DJT not only doesn’t understand monetary policy, but U.S. history,  or the CVD-19. (Remember he assured the nation CVD-19 will disappear once warm weather is on us).
The Congress (likely the House) should be slow to aid and abet DJT’s non-medical/healthcare election-year spending bailouts for the oil industry, airlines, cruise ship companies, various insurance industry sectors, and other business groups which have gotten fat the last 18 months on DJT tax expenditures and need little help.
I hope the nation is seeing first hand that Trump’s insouciance, immense vanity, across the board ignorance, failure to attend to detail which doesn’t involve himself, and naming hacks to key government posts, reflects why our nation is so woefully unprepared to protect its citizens.
(Did everyone hear those gathered sycophants shower Trump with hollow praise. when the VP’s Task Force spoke to the nation this past week, after Trump left the podium—uttering a few “excellents” and “well dones,” plus a “greatest” or two (his go-to adjectives for anything he thinks makes him look good).
For six weeks, the President has been downplaying and pooh-poohing CVD-19 and labeling it a “Chinese” or a “foreign” virus.
I want to shout, "Way to go, Brownie."
For the good of our nation and its future, Donald John Trump needs to be voted out after November’s election.

Back to my GSE legal guesswork

The Supreme Court had its first taste of GSE matters, in a one-off manner, when it heard matters in the “Selia” case which challenges the structural constitutionality of the Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB).
Readers of this screed know the structural similarity between CFPB and FHFA and hope a Selia win for plaintiffs will set precedent for a similar decision for those challenging the FHFA unique leadership and GSE policies.
Here’s another instance where I hope I am wrong and that “NAFL” means I’ve missed—badly—my inclination.
But, it is Fannie and Freddie and their curse. It also is possible, a decision which could place the federal government in a position of shelling out $100 Billion plus to some GSE fans/plaintiffs.
I say the SCOTUS balks and middles the matters, finding for the government or issues a hybrid decision, which allows Treasury to skate and both agencies fixed by a simple statutory adjustment, subjecting both the head of CFPB and FHFA executives to easier be presidential dismissal.
IMO, the SCOTUS is aware how much red ink is flowing out of Treasury these days and won’t dent Uncle Sam for another $100 Billion (plus?) financial sanction, especially with more Trump deficit spending pending, owing to managing he CVD-19 epidemic.
I hope the nation is seeing first hand that Trump’s insouciance, immense vanity, across the board ignorance, failure to attend to detail which doesn’t involve himself, and naming hacks to key government posts, reflects why our nation is so woefully unprepared to protect its citizens.
For six weeks, the President has been downplaying and pooh-poohing CVD-19 and labeling it a “Chinese” or a “foreign” virus, with his best xenophobia.
For the good of our nation and its future, Donald John Trump needs to go, voted out of after November’s election.

Maloni
3-12-2020




Thursday, February 27, 2020

Turn those eyes back on Calabria



“Liar, Liar Pants on Fire”

The GSE Conservator and Safety and Soundness Regulator, Mark Calabria, seems driven by Fannie-Freddie ill-intent.
His recitation last week to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) annual conference makes my point.
Regularly, he tries to rewrite history, resurrect old fabrications, and wittingly or unwittingly dampen investor hopes about future GSE values.
The last one is super ironic, especially because he needs Fannie and Freddie securities offering financial hope, not regulatory doubts, when “Conservatorship” ends, so the two can attract investor capital, reduce risk,  and carry out their mission, whatever he allows them to do after his GSE winnowing??
(Of course, by that time, our new President—elected this coming November—long will have suggested Mark C. pursue his life interests elsewhere.)
Calabria wants people to forget the past—when his buddies, the large banks, fought tooth and nail in Congress and in financial regulatory agency offices—to keep small banks and credit unions under thumb, let alone competing with the behemoths to make mortgage loans.
I worked on the Hill and later for Fannie and, in both places, I was witness to those industry disputes. I’m sure MC was a bank ally when he was a Senate Banking Committee staffer.
Four decades ago, GSE business recognition of the credit unions and other small lenders helped build their business, stand up to the big banks, and make a viable option for consumers and an alternative to bank offered mortgage financing.
As reported by Inside Mortgage Finance, at the CUNA event, Calabria seemed to forget (Ooops!) that Fannie and Freddie sloughed off big bank hatred of competing against credit unions and approved the much smaller "common bond" lenders as GSE “seller servicers,” providing a coveted commercial lifeline to those institutions, giving them and their members huge liquidity and a cost-saving mortgage financing alternative to bank loans. (GSEs siding with the credit unions and giving them business access is another historic reason big banks and the GSEs have clashed.)
That is just one of the reasons why the credit union trade groups and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)  always supported the GSEs.
The Director’s CUNA comments seem a microcosm of his laments.
Last week, Calabria again bemoaned the “GSE business model,” while suggesting Congress grant him additional authority (presumably so he could add to those 600 FHFA current employees who failed to put together a risk based capital draft rule, causing him to go outside and spend millions on consultants).
Ahem, Mr. Director, do you mean the business model which allowed the GSEs to earn well over $200 Billion for the Treasury and the federal government since 2013?
That business model?
It seems the Director’s external (and internal?) agenda is to make up a lot of GSE crap, cast himself and FHFA as avenging/refurbishing angels,  and hope most people won’t call BS on him/it because he’s the GSE Conservator and Safety and Soundness regulator and should know stuff.
Rhetorically, has anyone—since Calabria has taken over—heard him praise the GSEs for anything?
Has he said any good things about the GSE mission achievement, their exemplary low credit losses in their only permissible business product, or homeownership success in helping low income families? How about their revenue generation?
IMO, the plummeting values of Fannie and Freddie stocks have less to do with the internationally threatening coronavirus, but more to do with Calabria’s angry babbling to this or that interest group.
He should want the GSEs bright, shiny, and very investor attractive, so they can raise capital. (I also don’t see other federal financial regulators denigrating their regulated  wards, as Calabria does.)
The FHFA leader’s  continued knocks and negative observations about Fannie and Freddie--the two major entities he oversees (since nobody counts the Bank System), don’t promote what’s needed unless he is competing against himself in some weird three dimensional chess game using a multi-level board.
 (Mr. Director, the next time you crack wise at an industry event using Angelo Mozilo as a cudgel, you might check Wikipedia, first, to see what it says about Countrywide and one of your most senior and recent hires. Your presentation faux pas is on you not him.)
For a long time, I’ve blogged there is nothing in Calabria’s charge that prohibits him from promptly ending Conservatorship. Yet—to employ a favorite DJT construct, “many people agree”--it looks like the Director Calabria still wants to throw sand in the GSE gears and drag the process out for years.
Take your thumb off the scales, Mr. Director.


Maloni, 2-27-2020





Monday, February 17, 2020

Keep an eye on Calabria




2020, a Major Trump Year and some GSE Politics


Hello, F&F fans, I am back.
I’ve been GSE silent—IMO---because nothing of major import has transpired with Fannie and Freddie.
I also admit to being mesmerized and, ultimately, disgusted with how the weeny Senate Republicans—save Mitt Romney-- pissed away their honor and civic duty, blowing wet kisses to our President when he deserved serious Senate sanction and possibly impeachment for his constitutional violations.
I hope all of those who disagree with me on this are watching the megalomaniacal behavior of the man who uses the word “King” about himself and vows he’s above the law—as you and I know and accept conventional legal behavior—and can do whatever he likes on any matter.
BTW, those of you buying this front page “spat” between AG Barr and the POTUS are candidates to buy some nice Florida wetlands or the Brooklyn Bridge.
If Bill “The Tool” Barr truly is/was offended because the President big footed his departmental operations, he would resign. Except like many of his fellow travelers in the Senate, Barr doesn’t want to leave the Trump bosom, so he’ll orate emptily but do nothing.
This impacts Fannie and Freddie, so don’t click off now, because I think DJT’s mendacious and feckless actions have a major GSE lesson to them.
Back to why I am back blogging. Going forward this year, in addition to GSE talk, as an outraged voter, I intend to return to highlighting the President’s dystopia, all with my hope of defeating him in November with whomever the Democrats nominate (although I am not a Bernie or Warren fan).
Yep, I’ll be more political.
Simply put, I think Donald John Trump’s time in office has been cancerous to our nation, our international standing, our overseas allies, strangely super pro-Russian, and ruinous to our national institutional expectations of how the federal government should behave … despite how much some of you ignore his aberrance and only fixate on “his economy” or his Wall now being built with money stolen from the Defense Department.
So be forewarned. In the future, if you don’t want to read about our President’s lies, shortcomings, and leadership infidelities—as well as GSE matters--don’t read the Maloni blog.
That also will save me from answering your squawks.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Issues

I don’t know what the final fates of Fannie and Freddie will be, but I am confident in my feelings that their safety and soundness and program director, the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) Mark Calabria will do his best destructive locust imitation to ground the GSEs into husks of their old selves and try to boost the nation’s behemoth banks because he and those same financial institutions still see Fannie and Freddie as “bank competitors,” despite the fact that not one major bank has entered the mortgage business as a national and commercially active MORTGAGE GUARANTOR, which is the only role now which Fannie and Freddie can have.
Hear this and get it Director Calabria, despite your odyssey from trade group to trade group forum, the GSEs have only the single secondary market home mortgage business line and can only operate on the United States.
Unlike major banks, Fannie and Freddie can’t make commercial loans, can’t operate overseas, are not the same or in the same business as the banks, no matter what you and your conservative Amen C Chorus sing.
Most observers realize that your words camouflage actions to make GSE operational and capital costs as high as you can get away with.
Mr. Director, you should be embarrassed that FHFA and you are12 years late in setting the GSE risk-based-capital rule and that you didn’t/couldn’t trust your own employees to produce; you needed to  hire outside consulting help to complete the capital rule.)
And, if banks ever do want to wander into this exclusive business, it’s because Calabria and his allies will have boosted GSE expenses and created F&F operational hurdles to make banks look envious at that secondary market function.
Of course, Calabria's would drive up mortgage finance costs across the board making consumers less able to afford their share of the American dream.
But I don’t believe Calabria and his posse care about that, nor do they care about balancing the playing field so that certain economic and racial/ethnic population segments get their shot at owning a home.
(Inside baseball, GSE style. Your government in action or non-action? Calabria has several hundred (600?) employees working for him, many of them new since FHFA was re-created in 2008; yet, the Director couldn’t find enough in house talent, with the skills and intelligence to design RBC standards for the only two institutions FHFA employees have been overseeing for more than a decade. Just what do all of those log rollers do, Mark? Follow Freddie's lead and cut loose about 200 or 300 of them. )

Let me add two items of some Washington reality to my concerns.
No matter what you read, FHFA is going to hold onto the GSEs for as long as Calabria needs to complete his hollowing out act.
Looking back, it’s only been Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin carrying the torch publicly and consistently arguing for ending Conservatorship, now in its eleventh year.
Many of us—me included—have tried to inflate an innocuous POTUS throwaway F&F comment to the Realtors last year into a full throated glowing endorsement for ending Conservatorship
If that was the case it was a very lukewarm one DJT never mentioned externally again.
Also, President Trump walks away from more promises than a sailor on shore leave visiting a women’s college. His broken vows with allies, trading partners, state and local governments, and the electorate litter the landscape as he lies about his plans and intent. So, I’m not holding my breath until he says something GSE positive about freeing Fannie and Freddie.
Mnuchin is the only senior official with GSE support on his record and I worry he is a short-timer.
He’s been in his cabinet job for the entire Trump term and generally is brushing against the normal planned departure schedule. His wife Louise hates DC and the DC crowd—with the suggestion it’s mutual-- and hopes to move permanently to LA/Hollywood, New York, or elsewhere. (Notice her opposition to the Admin’s climate change position, which promptly got taken down from Twitter.)
Who will carry the GSE when Mnuchin leaves? Nobody on the Hill has anything vested in Fannie and Freddie, although most would hope to use them if they survive their current unloved circumstances.
That leaves us with the courts and, ultimately the Supreme Court (SCOTUS).
For those who haven’t already read it, here’s a quality article by a very smart lawyer, who uses the nom de plume of “Rule of Law Guy,” and contributes regularly to Tim Howard’s blog.
Unless it is prohibited, even a positive court decision for the plaintiffs may not stop FHFA from its ideological GSE plastic surgery.

Maloni, 2-18-2020