Elephant in the room: What will the future hold for Fannie and Freddie?
Joe Murin has had this meeting before. Clients of his at The Collingwood Group, a financial guidance firm he co-founded in New York, are making bets on the future of housing finance. These hedge funds, money managers, private investors and others have managed to navigate through the rages of the financial crisis and want to capitalize. But before they make their call, they need to know what is happening with the government-sponsored enterprises. But even Murin, who himself was a former president of Ginnie Mae, and his team of former government executives from Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration and others, don’t know. Banking analysts, trade associations, consumer advocates, traders, academics and even lawmakers themselves are searching for the answer to the most important question facing the mortgage industry in a lifetime. What should happen to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?