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What Should FHFA Do With Fannie Mae?

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released FHFA’s Draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022, a plan produced by the Agency which accounts for the upcoming four years and details FHFA’s priorities as regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Following its release, FHFA has announced a request for input from Members of Congress, the public, and interested stakeholders.

net worth sweep Fannie Mae Freddie Mac
By User:AgnosticPreachersKid (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
As you well know, as shareholders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, each of us will be directly impacted by the future decisions of FHFA and any action taken in regards to the GSEs. Given your stake in the Enterprises, I encourage all of you to review the draft plan and respond to FHFA through its request for input form, which you can access by clicking here, before the October 27 deadline. I have taken action by submitting my own comment through FHFA’s submission process, and encourage you to join me in doing the same.

In my submission, I encourage FHFA to allow Director Mel Watt to exercise his statutory authority under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) and end the GSEs’ woefully inadequate capital reserves by ending the Net Worth Sweep. As instructed under HERA, FHFA has guided the Enterprises back to a safe and solvent condition, accounting for future market liquidity and stability. A continued conservatorship and ongoing quarterly dividend payments will leave the Enterprises at danger’s doorstep in two short months, come January 1, 2018, when each entity is operating on zero capital.

As I reference in my submission to FHFA, the government has been paid back and there is no logical reason to continue the Net Worth Sweep, a practice that is counter to the interests of taxpayers and shareholders – a concern that has been echoed by Members of Congress, Director Mel Watt and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. As conservator, it is the Agency’s rightful duty to protect taxpayers from another bailout and to uphold the rule of law.

After nine long years of the GSEs in conservatorship, returning the entities back to their rightful owners – the shareholders — will be welcome, long awaited news for so many Americans. Like you, there are thousands of shareholders who have invested their hard earned money, retirement, pension funds and savings in the entities, and have been invested for years, fully expecting the government to hold up its end of the bargain and pay them back what they are rightfully and contractually owed. Shareholders and private capital are both critical in the long term health and success of the housing sector. The rippling effects of private capital loss to the market would be enormous. Not to mention, ignoring loyal, hardworking Americans and denying them of their assets is a direct conflict of shareholder rights, exemplifies an egregious practice of government overreach and too generous an exertion of government privilege. Within the next four years, FHFA must work with urgency to end the quarterly dividend payment, protecting taxpayers and lifting any future burden off their shoulders, and ensure that our government upholds its end of the bargain by allowing shareholders access to their funds after far too many years of waiting.

I encourage you all to let your voice be heard by FHFA through this process. You are welcome to draw from my submission, which can be found on the Investors Unite site as well. I want to thank each and every one of you for joining me in this fight and for tirelessly working to ensure an end to the conservatorship and Net Worth Sweep in a way that protects taxpayers, serves prospective homeowners and honors shareholders.