In the days following the 2016 election, business leaders across many industries were hopeful that the new president would make good on his promise of widespread deregulation. Banks and other financial institutions were especially optimistic. Here at last was the relief they had been looking for. Or not.
Even Hollywood knows better than to produce a sequel when the original movie is truly, horrifically bad. That’s why, thankfully, we haven’t seen sequels to such all-time cinematic disasters as Howard the Duck, Gigli, The Last Airbender, Jack and Jill, Glitter, or Battlefield Earth. Which brings us, in an admittedly roundabout way, to the question of whether we’re about to see a sequel of sorts in the mortgage industry: The Return of the Subprime Loan.
With FHFA director Mel Watt’s term due to expire in January 2019, the question of whether to move ahead on some version of administrative reform may rest with his successor. In the meantime, policy makers would be well-served to work together to come to some agreement on options for administrative reform. At a minimum, agreeing on a common definition would be a good first step.