Trump says there's 'urgent' need to free Fannie, Freddie from conservatorship

by Candyd Mendoza21 May 2019

President Donald Trump addressed issues regarding the privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the National Association of Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo.

“More than a decade after the financial crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still in conservatorship,” Trump said. “Fannie and Freddie still dominate the market with no real competition from the private sector, and the taxpayers are still on the hook if another crisis should happen, and this is a pretty urgent problem.”

Trump cited a memorandum he issued in March urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department to work on releasing Fannie and Freddie from the government’s control.

“We’re looking at different alternatives. We have many geniuses looking at it, and we’ll figure something out. But Fannie and Freddie can do a lot better than they’re doing,” said Trump. “And that’s why I recently directed the Department of Treasury and HUD to develop a framework for a modern housing finance system. ... I know you have some incredible talent from Wall Street coming in. We actually called on very smart people.”

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria also outlined his plans for making sure the GSEs can properly move away from conservatorship.

"I would not feel comfortable having [the GSEs] exit conservatorship until I'm comfortable knowing that we never go back to the old days, pre-crisis, and that we have a Fannie and Freddie that are responsible, good corporate citizens that don't have the arrogance we saw before the crisis," Calabria said.