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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Fed's Powell: Housing market in some ways safer than before crisis

Feds Powell is speaking on housing reforms. His comments are not focused on the economy or monetary policy. 


  • Current housing finance system unsustainable.  
  • Govt backed mortgage securiites still pose systematic risk/potential tax payer losses
  • Still no clarity of role Fannie, Freddie, other govt sponsored enterprises should play in housing finance
  • Reforms applied to banks, requiring more private capital and allowing firms to fail, may be appropriate for housing
  • System should change to encourage more competition, not the duopoly of Fannie and Freddie
  • Reforms should be oriented toward making future bailouts as remote as possible
  • Nevertheless sees credit flowing, default rates down and prices recovered to pre-crisis levels
  • Some reforms made system safer. Fannie and Freddie portfolios are now 1/2 of pre-crisis size. About 50 bln in private capital backing some of the loans.

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