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Volume 14 - Number 7

April 4, 2014

Advocates to Treasury: Deem GSEs ‘Systemically Important’

With housing finance reform unlikely to clear Congress in the near term even as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain “highly leveraged” on a global scale, a pair of policy advocates are urging Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to trigger existing protective regulations under his discretion that would classify the two GSEs as systemic risks to the economy. American Enterprise Institute Fellow Alex Pollock and Thomas Stanton, author and former Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission staffer, petitioned Lew in a letter this week to act in his capacity as chairman of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and designate Fannie and Freddie as Systemically Important Financial Institutions.

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With rates higher this year, there has been talk of lenders liberalizing their underwriting standards in an effort to increase volume and make up for lower refis.

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