It’s August. Do you know where Fannie and Freddie are?
Fannie and Freddie’s regulator-in-chief James Lockhart is stepping down to spend more time with his family, Reuters reports. Can’t say I blame him. He’s been at the helm of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, formerly known as OFHEO, for three years, saw through an unprecedented de facto nationalization of the companies, and still the future of the housing finance giants remains nearly as uncertain as it did a year ago.
Will the government wind them down, will they return them to the private sector, will they stop propping up the debt markets where they operate? There’s plenty of question marks – some might say too many considering the pivotal role these companies play in the U.S. housing market. Much of the game plan set forth when the government took over Frannie nearly a year ago expires at the end of the year, making all this uncertainty doubly worrying.
Stacy-Marie Ishmael over at Alphaville pulls some nice tidbits out of a recent Moody’s report on the matter. Looks like analysts at the ratings firm see the creation of a new housing agency will be the end result.
Moody’s expect the government to decide what to do over the next 18 months. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.