Craig Phillips, a top aide to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said his department "broadly" agrees with the FHFA plan, which would return Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the private market and provide them an explicit government guarantee.
The announcement Thursday that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt agreed to let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each build a $3 billion capital buffer avoided a potential crisis.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be allowed to build capital buffers to protect against losses under an agreement between the Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced on Thursday.
The two government-sponsored enterprises have relied on the “classic” FICO credit scoring model for the past 12 years. But the Federal Housing Finance Agency is weighing whether the GSEs should upgrade to more recent scoring alternatives.
Testing of the common securitization platform is taking longer than expected, but the Federal Housing Finance Agency said it won't delay the 2019 launch of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's new single "uniform mortgage-backed security."
The financial services industry has cheered a proposed reduction in the corporate tax rate, but a lower rate could force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to write down assets, increasing the odds that the companies will need Treasury support.
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said the agency is poised to examine alternatives to how a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assess creditworthiness of home buyers, including seeking public comment on the issue later this fall.
Though FHFA Director Mel Watt stopped short of saying he would break with a Treasury agreement that forces all profits of the GSEs to go to the government, he emphasized that it couldn’t continue indefinitely.
Despite a direct request by six Democratic senators that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be allowed to rebuild capital, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did little to clarify the administration's thinking.