Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, Nov. 19.
This will be Watt’s first appearance before Congress since taking the reins at the FHFA in January 2014.
Compass Point Trading & Research analysts expect it to be quite entertaining. They say in a client note it will be something like that old routine: ‘You can't please all the people all the time...and last night, all those people were at my show.’
“We believe that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will use this hearing to share a number of policy concerns from both ends of the political spectrum with Director Watt,” Compass Point analyst say. “On the one side of the dais, we expect Republicans to share their trepidation with FHFA efforts aimed at increasing mortgage credit availability such as the return of the 3% down-payment.
“On the other side of the dais, our sense is that Democrats will applaud the FHFA’s efforts to date but chide Director Watt for not acting aggressively enough to expand the credit box. Specifically, we expect to hear Democratic lawmakers focus their questioning on the funding status of the National Housing Trust Fund as well as forthcoming mortgage pricing decisions,” they say.
Given that Director Watt’s comments generally hover at a high level, analysts do not expect this hearing to produce material updates on the FHFA’s efforts including the return of the 3% down-payment, the update R&W framework, the FHLB eligibility requirements, the PMIERs, or the forthcoming G-Fee decision.