An overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is highly unlikely to make it into this year’s legislative calendar, Congressional staffers say, possibly shifting the new administration’s immediate focus to allowing the mortgage financing institutions’ to rebuild depleted capital.
Fannie and Freddie stocks soared late last year when President Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the companies that have been in government conservatorship since the 2008 financial crisis should be privatized.
Hedge funds and other investors have been lobbying for the removal of government controls over the mortgage giants’ profits, which since 2012 have been transferred to the Treasury, and their eventual privatization.
The shares dipped when Mnuchin seemed to backpedal on the privatization pledge during his January confirmation hearing and suffered another setback last month when a court rejected investors’ suit against the dividend transfers.
Congressional staffers say the Senate Banking Committee has begun weekly bipartisan