When House Banking Committee Chairman Henry Gonzalez questioned Freddie Mac President Leland Brendsel about rumors that it was considering buying or issuing exotic mortgage-backed security derivatives Nov. 19, he signaled a growing concern in Congress about the safety and soundness of those instruments.

Brendsel told Gonzalez that Freddie had no such plans. Nevertheless, lawmakers have every intent to press the issue and the ranking Republican on the House Banking Committee kicked it off by urging regulators to develop tougher monitoring of derivatives.

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