Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria is trying to pull Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship before the Trump Administration ends on January 20, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Mark Calabria, a libertarian economist who heads the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has made it a priority to return Fannie and Freddie to private hands, a goal shared by Mr. Mnuchin. How that is done could affect the cost and availability of mortgages backed by the companies, which guarantee roughly half of the $11 trillion in existing home loans.
Completing the complex process before President Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20 is a long shot, and President-elect Joe Biden is considered unlikely to continue the effort. But Messrs. Calabria and Mnuchin could succeed in taking steps that would be difficult to reverse, such as significantly restructuring the government’s stakes in the firms.
The Treasury secretary must agree to any move to alter the terms of either the companies’ bailout agreement or the government’s stakes. One person familiar with the effort said Mr. Mnuchin is supportive of locking in a path to private ownership but mindful of steps that could disrupt the housing-finance market.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under conservatorship – or government control – in September 2008 amid the housing crisis. Calabria has been taking additional steps in recent months to prepare the companies to emerge from federal control.