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.
The week of Oct. 2 is shaping up to be a significant one for the financial services industry on Capitol Hill, as lawmakers grill the top executives of Equifax and Wells Fargo, as well as the top regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Sen. Bob Corker has been a key voice in the housing finance reform debate. His departure at the end of next year puts a deadline of sorts on his efforts to unwind and replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
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.
The gulf between those at the upper ends of the wealth ladder and lower-income Americans has worsened markedly since the financial crisis, despite the trillions of subsidies that taxpayers provide for housing.
Dividend payments by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are due to come one day after the U.S. is estimated to hit the debt ceiling, raising the stakes in the debate over whether those payments should continue.