Trending Thursday: UnCorkering trouble in GSE reform land

Plus new MISMO guidelines, Kroll looks at the state of mortgage banking

Trending Thursday is a roundup of the stories shaping the week and what’s yet to come through the weekend — also taking into account social media reaction. Think of it as a mid-week Monday Morning Cup of Coffee, but with extra caffeine.

One of the big things happening right now and blowing up on social media is Sen. Bob Corker’s, R-Tenn., big gaffe on CNBC, when he said investors should short Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

He was referring to an Oct. 5 note from the research firm Political Alpha. This note made the rounds in both Washington and Wall Street causing GSE shares to trade-up. Even the New York Post picked up on it. The note states:

Multiple sources have confirmed that the White House has reached out to the housing finance community to better understand its options on what to do with the GSEs after conservatorship. 

The Administration is in the very early stages of looking at various options to end the GSEs conservatorship.  This is a major shift in thinking as it would entail ending the GSE profit sweep allowing Fannie and Freddie to begin to retain capital.  While we have been told the Administration is not close to deciding how to proceed, the initial announcement of the White House’s intent would clearly be beneficial to the entire capital structure of the GSEs.

If you want to catch up on the social media of it, just check my Twitter timeline. (Skip the part about me not knowing what “Netflix and chill” really meant.)

But speaking of Corker, his "Jumpstart the GSEs" push is expected to continue, but the prospects remain dim.

Corker has that he will continue to push his “Jumpstart GSE Reform” bill with the appropriations process representing the best path to passage.

The bill prohibits the Treasury from selling or in any other ways disposing of its shares in the GSEs without Congressional action.

“Enactment of this legislation would effectively block any administrative action on the GSEs and ensure that the issue would remain stagnant until at least 2017 when a new Congress gavels into session,” says Isaac Boltansky at Compass Point Research & Trading. “We continue to believe that the Jumpstart GSE Reform bill is unlikely to become law given persistent Democratic opposition to standalone GSE bills and the already contentious state of the appropriations conversation.”

Speaking of Washington, defying the threat of a White House veto, the House on Wednesday afternoon passed bipartisan legislation to help homebuyers avoid delays and disruptions when closing on their new homes by a bipartisan vote of 303-121.

After a certain to affirm Senate vote, it comes to a game of chicken between the executive and legislative branch. Who will blink?

The boffins at Kroll Bond Rating Agency ask is it’s 2005 all over again for the U.S. banking sector.

“Moving down a level of granularity to all loans secured by real estate, a category which comprises some $4.3 trillion or roughly half of total bank loans, the picture is very close to that for the overall loan book,” KBRA says in a client note. “Net charge-offs have fallen to just 0.13% of total real estate loans vs. the peak of 2.6% at the end of 2009.

“LGD for all real estate loans has fallen from almost 100% in Q4 2007 to less than 60% today,” analysts says. “In Q3 2005, LGD for all real estate loans troughed at 71% and then climbed to almost 100% in Q3 2007. Note in both the case of total loans and total real estate loans that noncurrent assets are a multiple of charge-offs.”

There’s a new reference model out from the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization that, if you already knew what MISMO stands for before I wrote it out, you should get ahold of.

MISMO put out of Version 3.4 of the MISMO Reference Model for public comment.  The public comment period will remain open from Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 through Friday, December 4th, 2015.  Version 3.4 is expected to be elevated to Candidate Recommendation status shortly thereafter.

“Everyone is aware of the significant number of new regulatory and investor requirements facing the mortgage industry” said Rick Hill, MISMO Executive Vice President.  “MISMO is focused on helping the industry by updating the standards to assist in complying with the regulations.  The new release, referred to as Version 3.4, contains important updates to support the TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, the proposed Home Mortgage Disclosure Act rule, and the GSE’s Uniform Mortgage Data Program.  The collaboration within MISMO among the lending community, service providers, government, investors and others is instrumental in developing standards that solve business problems.  MISMO and its many active participants are pleased to provide this update to help industry respond to new regulations in a timely manner.”

There’s legislation afoot to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Hillary Clinton doesn’t like it.

The CFPB has come under fire for its lack of transparency, lack of Congressional oversight, autocratic management structure, charges of racial discrimination by agency employees, targeting of law abiding industries, and massive spying program aimed at American consumers. 

The U.S. Consumer Coalition thinks she’s wrong.

"By urging Congress to kill these well-intentioned reforms, Mrs. Clinton is taking a stand against greater transparency and oversight of one of the most powerful and secretive agencies in Washington. The American people want CFPB reform. They believe that this out-of-control agency, which has enormous power to regulate businesses and consumer choice at will, should be accountable to Congress and not managed by one unelected official. A recent USCC/Zogby poll showed a clear majority of Americans support more oversight of the CFPB by Congress. In fact, 78 percent of those polled said the CFPB should 'have to go to Congress and get its budget approved just like other agencies,'” they say.

“The USCC/Zogby poll also found majority opposition to the agency’s controversial mining of Americans’ credit card information. Mrs. Clinton seems to go to great lengths to hide her personal communications and activities from the prying eyes of the government, but apparently has no problem with the CFPB spying on hundreds of millions of credit card purchases of nearly every American,” USCC says.

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