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Fannie and Freddie’s redeeming quality: Multifamily lending

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According to an article in Bloomberg, while the majority of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac products suffered during the financial crisis, one part managed to squeeze through barely scathed: the apartment-lending units.

Lawmakers seeking to eliminate the two government lenders, which were seized by regulators during the 2008 credit crisis, see an antidote to the reckless lending that blew up the U.S. housing market in the structure of the firms’ multifamily operations, which share risks with lenders.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson and Republican Mike Crapo are proposing legislation to create a new government-backed reinsurer of mortgage bonds that would require private investors to bear losses on the first 10 percent of capital. The model for the provision mirrors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's multifamily lending operations, requiring lenders to shoulder some of the risk on loans they originate.

Source: Bloomberg
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