Sounds like people had plenty to say about the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a Treasury forum today. For example, Bill Gross of PIMCO, who oversees more than $1 trillion in assets, called for a massive program to refinance mortgages at low rates as a way to lift the economy – a more sweeping recommendation than Treasury organizers had anticipated. “It is not tenable to leave in place the system we have today,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged, but said the government must still have some role.
The bailed-out mortgage giants have received nearly $150 billion in taxpayer funds since they were placed in government conservatorship, and are likely to need tens of billions of dollars more to survive.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll on the Kentucky Senate race shows Republican Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite, with a narrow 5 point lead over Democrat Jack Conway among likely voters. The poll also probed voter views on the controversy about Paul’s alleged college pranks, and found that 53 percent of Kentucky voters had not heard anything about it. Among Republicans, 12 percent said the stories made them more likely to vote for Paul.
And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out our blog for a rap video promoting Elizabeth Warren to become the new consumer sheriff in town…
Here are our top stories from today:
Obama seeks new design for housing, Fannie/Freddie
The Obama administration called for “fundamental change” at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but a long, politically explosive debate lies ahead on the future of the bailed-out mortgage giants and housing policy that affects millions of Americans and billions in investment. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner raised basic questions about the government’s long-standing role in subsidizing the $10.7 trillion housing market and supporting the historic “American dream” of home ownership.