Democrats' recent electoral victories signal that they may be able retake the House during midterm elections next year. That could have a big impact on regulatory relief, housing finance reform and other bank priorities.
During his time as Fed governor, chair-designate Jerome Powell has outlined his views on a host of bank regulatory matters, including the need for regulatory relief, the push for housing finance reform, blockchain and much more.
Mark Calabria, the chief economic adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, said the administration is focused for now on more pressing issues than GSE reform, including addressing housing damage from recent hurricanes.
In a somewhat surprising decision, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling announced his retirement from Congress on Tuesday, but speculation immediately grew that he could fill a regulatory post.
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.
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.