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Housing Markets & Conditions

After a Decade of Debate about the Right GSE Reform Model, We’re Down to Two Choices

Author: Don Layton | October 15, 2019

The housing finance policy community had thrown around all sorts of ideas about how to move forward after the two GSEs were placed in conservatorship in the 2008 Financial Crisis. In the early years of conservatorship, while many of these ideas were being developed and discussed, all of them looked to replace the two GSEs....

A Missing Piece of the Administrative Reform Puzzle: How the GSEs Generate Cross-Subsidies

Authors: Michael Stegman, Richard Cooperstein | October 09, 2019

With the passing of the eleventh anniversary of GSE conservatorship and the release of the administration’s long-awaited housing finance reform plans, longstanding disagreements over the appropriate affordable housing obligations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac show no sign of abatement. Given that prospects for legislative reform are bleak, stakeholders have turned their collective attention to administrative reform, wondering what action Mark Calabria, the director of the FHFA, will take....

Four Big Things the FHFA Needs to Get Right in Its GSE Capital Rule

Author: Don Layton | October 07, 2019

To finalize its proposed minimum required capital rule, there are four big issues the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, will need to address......

Treasury’s GSE Reform Plan: My Top Ten Political Economy Insights

Author: Don Layton | September 27, 2019

The US Treasury released on September 5th its much-awaited plan for reform of the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. As directed by the president, it addressed both reforms that could be done via legislation and also those that could be done solely by administrative means....

How Deep Is the ‘Economic Moat’ Around the Two GSEs?

Author: Don Layton | September 18, 2019

When policymakers focus on legislative reform of the two major government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), a core principle widely espoused is to increase competition, to get away from the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae duopoly – but another view sees that the barriers to entry to competing with the two GSEs are perhaps insurmountable....

GSE Reform: None or Mostly Done?

Author: Don Layton | August 05, 2019

Over the past decade, Congress and most housing finance policy developers and commentators have overwhelmingly focused on reform of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) in terms of comprehensive reform, meaning major changes in the design and structure of the housing finance system, which would require legislation by Congress. But, Donald Layton argues, reform has been “mostly done” already, quietly and competently, during conservatorship....