Now that Federal Housing Finance Agency director Mel Watt has finally broken his silence, he’s making the rounds.
Watt will be on C-Span’s Newsmakers on Sunday.
“I don’t lay awake at night worrying about what’s fair to the shareholders,” Watt said in an interview recorded Friday for air on Sunday, and reported by Bloomberg. “My responsibility is to think about how can I do what is responsible for the taxpayers.”
Shareholders including Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme Capital Management and hedge fund Perry Capital LLC have been pushing the U.S. to return the companies to private ownership. They’ve also challenged an arrangement in which the FHFA and the Treasury Department require the companies to pay 100 percent of their profits to the U.S.
In the interview, Watt said he’s more focused on maintaining an efficient housing market.
“I just don’t have time to think about what might happen in the future with the shareholders,” he said. “It’s just not my responsibility.”
Watt said he didn’t create the arrangement directing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s profits to the U.S. “so it’s not my job to worry about whether it’s fair or not fair.”