HUD's Affordable Housing Regulations
Serving Two Masters Redux

After numerous academic and other studies showed that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not doing as much as banks to provide affordable and low income housing--a function that the GSEs describe as part of their "mission"--in April the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed draft regulations that would increase the GSEs' obligations in this area. Fannie and Freddie and some of their allies in Congress immediately complained that HUD had gone too far and that the revised standards might increase their risks and reduce their earnings. This response raises once again the question of whether a government "mission" can be performed by a shareholder-owned company.

In a June 2004 letter to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, commenting on OFHEO’s proposed corporate governance regulations, Ann M. Korologos, the chair of Fannie’s corporate governance committee, neatly outlined the essence of this conflict of interest. Fannie's directors, wrote Korologos,"are concerned that the [OFHEO] proposal’s focus on the federal charters and 'public mission' of the Enterprises may detract from our role as representatives of Fannie Mae's shareholders. As directors, our duty is to act in the best interest of the shareholders." At this conference, experts will review the HUD regulations and consider whether Fannie and Freddie are suitable vehicles for performing a government mission. Representatives of Fannie and Freddie were invited, but declined to participate.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Peter J.
Wallison

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.