James Pethokoukis

Why Fannie and Freddie are sticking around

February 11, 2011

The Obama White House finally has a kinda-sorta housing plan. But here is the thing: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, seized by the U.S. government back in 2008, don’t possess the political clout they used to. But the two mortgage finance giants still have a network with shared interests. That lingering influence is a big reason why they — or possibly similar-looking replacements — will be around for a while longer.

Fannie and Freddie and Barney

October 21, 2010

IBD‘s great Capital Hill blog makes a good point about F&F and the midterms:

Fannie and Freddie could need $363 billion in taxpayer funds by 2013

October 21, 2010

Ugh.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today released projections of the financial performance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) including potential draws under the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements (PSPAs) with the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To date, the Enterprises have drawn $148 billion from the Treasury Department under the terms of the PSPAs. Under the three scenarios used in the projections, cumulative Enterprise draws range from $221 billion to $363 billion through 2013.

The future of Fannie and Freddie? None

August 19, 2010

Bond guru Bill Gross warned on Tuesday that without U.S. government guarantees, only mortgage bonds backed by super-safe loans, would interest him. He frets too much. The funeral of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be coming, but housing support from D.C. will live on. The key question is how much.

Are Fannie and Freddie really worth it?

August 18, 2010

CNBC’s John Carney nails it right on the head:

Defenders of Fannie and Freddie insist that their role in making mortgages cheaper is vital to the market and expanding home-ownership.

Poll: Americans dubious of government forgiving mortgages

August 9, 2010

Superpollster Scott Rasmussen apparently noticed my recent column:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that:

1. 58% oppose a proposal to have the federal government forgive a portion of the mortgage debt owned by troubled homeowners.

Can mortgage relief become a free-lunch stimulus?

August 5, 2010

And while we are on the topic of mortgages, I wrote this piece for Reuters Breakingviews yesterday:

Using Fannie and Freddie to influence the 2010 midterm elections

December 28, 2009

So the Treasury Department announces unlimited support for Fannie Mae Freddie Mac for the next thee years. I think Wall Street Pit raises a very provocative point on this might all relate to the 2010 election:

White House reform plan to make Fannie and Freddie … Fannier and Freddier!

August 6, 2009

So Team Obama is considering a truly horrible plan: to re-imagine Freddie and Freddie as new entities that are just like the current failed ones, but with government taking over all the toxic stuff . Tell it to me WaPo: