Sparks fly over FHFA nomination

by 01 May 2013

President Obama’s nomination of Rep. Mel Watt, a long-time Democratic congressman from North Carolina, to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency has garnered a strong reaction from financial industry leaders.

Subject to Senate approval, Watt, a high-ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, would replace FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco as the GSE regulator who oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

Democrats and liberal activists have in the past criticized DeMarco, the agency’s acting director since 2009, for his myopic focus on the bottom line. While his critics advocate for utilizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce the principal on mortgages it backs to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, republicans remain opposed to using the mortgage financiers as tools for economic or social policy.



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