WASHINGTON — Perhaps it was appropriate that a panel of professors testified Tuesday about how to reform the U.S. mortgage system since Capitol Hill's approach to the issue is increasingly beginning to resemble an academic exercise.

The hearing was the Senate Banking Committee's tenth on housing finance reform while various House committees have also held a slew of discussions. Yet Washington appears no closer to a solution than it was three years ago, shortly after the federal government seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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