Tony [Frank] and I have had this kind of discussion for years.

First of all, last year Fannie Mae did $300 billion worth of business, or 3.3 million loans. The average-size mortgage was $95,000.

Over 50% of our business last year involved people whose incomes were below 100% of median income or lived in central cities in the nation.

The reason that Tony's line doesn't work is that everything he is talking about and has talked about has fallen on deaf ears in Congress, because it involves higher prices to the American homebuyer.

Anything that seeks to diminish the very, very competitive relationship between Fannie and Freddie raises the cost for the American homebuyer.

It was not Fannie and Freddie that designed their charters. It was the Congress.

Support from Congress

This massive two-year legislative exercise ... produced, among other things, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and more sharply defined affordable housing goals for Fannie and Freddie.

Preceding the legislation, there were nine different studies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There was nothing in any one of those studies that questioned how well we served the mortgage finance system or the American consumer.

The Congress reaffirmed that in 1992 when it rewrote the charters for Fannie and Freddie, putting in place a new regulator and capital structure.

Again, we are vicious competitors ... and we compete on price. It works for you, and it works for the consumers.

We're not talking at all about the type of system that Tony Frank and others find too upscale. It is an extremely efficient system that is working for a large part of the American public, and that we hope to make work for even more people.

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