(CORRECTION: This post has been updated to eliminate the name of the American Bankers' Association's Michael Hunter, incorrectly identified in earlier versions as an alumnus of Watt's office. Hunter worked for former Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla.)
Rep. Mel Watt, President Barack Obama's pick to lead the agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, insurers of most of the country's mortgages, is getting strong support from his party's liberal wing despite close ties to an industry with a big stake in how -- or if -- the controversial quasi-government entities are wound down.
The North Carolina ...Continue reading
Bernanke is positive about economy, despite poor markets
The Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, said he believes the economy will continue to grow this year despite high unemployment rates, weak job growth and an “exceptionally weak housing sector”.
In the Fed's Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress, Bernanke highlighted the positive direction the economy has taken citing as evidence the real GDP's return to where it was before the financial crisis occurred.
In today’s hearing conducted by the Senate Banking Committee, the focus seemed to be on the Fed’s decision to buy securities issued by the Department of Treasury and the effectiveness of that ...Continue reading
Proposed Policies To End Fannie, Freddie Stem From Lobbying Prohibition
This week the Obama administration released three different plans to end or vastly shrink the role of the government in... View ArticleContinue reading
The revolving door shouldn’t spin again for William Daley
President Obama is likely to select former Commerce Secretary and current JPMorgan Chase executive William Daley as his next chief... View ArticleContinue reading
Potential White House Chief of Staff Replacement?
Tom Donilon, a White House national security advisor, is being touted as a potential replacement for Rahm Emanuel as chief... View ArticleContinue reading
Daily Outrage: How Fannie and Freddie Bought Congress
If you want your daily rage inducing news piece, this Associated Press investigation into Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae should... View ArticleContinue reading
In Broad Daylight: The Banks Bought Congress
Budgeting political risk helped Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and financial services companies avoid the kind of scrutiny they needed from... View ArticleContinue reading
Fannie Mae handbook: Illegal actions in a gray area?
This is largely gratuitous, but while tooling around Fannie Mae's Web site, I came across their Employee Code of Conduct, revised in 2007. The opening includes this passage:
But in many situations the right course of action is not always obvious. So here are some questions that we can ask ourselves to help us navigate the shades of gray:
The first shade of gray?
Is the action legal?
In fairness, the preceding sentence tells employees, "Perhaps most importantly, our Code not only requires us to comply with the law, but it challenges us to promote ethical conduct in all ...Continue reading
Financial Bailout: K Street hurting too?
The Hill reports that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are dissolving their formidable lobbying operations (when the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight was investigating their shady accounting practices, Fannie Mae was spending $8 million a year on lobbyists, some of whom were working with Congress to derail the investigation).
The Hill reports,
When the two companies were taken over by the government, they said they would end lobbying practices that had made them a powerful force in Washington.
Still, the lost contracts could hit K Street hard.
Overall, 37 outside firms filed second-quarter reports for Fannie and Freddie, according ...Continue reading
Financial Bailout: Fannie Mae announces subpoena
Fannie Mae announced <a href="http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/310522/000129993308004533/0001299933-08-004533.txt">today</a> that it's gotten more subpoenas from the SEC and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York:
<blockquote>On September 26, 2008, Fannie Mae received notice of ongoing federal government investigations and inquiries into Fannie Mae by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") regarding certain accounting, disclosure and corporate governance matters. In connection with those investigations and inquiries, Fannie Mae received a Grand Jury subpoena ...Continue reading