Tax reform caused Fannie Mae to burn through retained earnings that had been approved just two months ago and to post a fourth-quarter loss. CEO Timothy Mayopoulos argued it was a one-time event that overshadowed strong fundamentals.
Profits fell 42% at the Birmingham, Ala., bank because of a $121 million tax charge in the fourth quarter, but net interest income and noninterest income each rose 14%, softening the blow of the one-time tax hit.
The busy legislative agenda laid out by President Trump in the State of the Union speech Tuesday night casts doubt on how quickly Congress can move on financial services legislation, particularly a housing finance reform package.
A plan by the largest U.S. bank to use part of its tax windfall to enter new markets (including Washington and Boston) could become a serious threat for banks of all sizes in those cities — or looked backed upon someday as a pricey overexpansion.