Exit announced, Freddie Mac CEO suggests mortgage finance future
Freddie Mac CEO Ed Haldeman is not leaving the government-sponsored enterprise immediately, despite announcing his resignation. Furthermore, he still holds clear ideas on how to fix mortgage finance and advises how to go about it. To be sure, politicians will ultimately decide the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But in a speech to the CEO Club of Boston on Wednesday, Haldeman laid out six ways vital and safe financing can be provided in mortgage markets. He began the list by providing support for a securitization market funded in a much larger part by private investors. It is essential for private money to take the place of public funding for a sustainable housing recovery, Haldeman said. He rejected the notion that the 30-year mortgage needs to be ditched. In fact, he supports keeping the traditional home loan and offering many others. He added that both borrowers and lenders rely upon sustainable mortgage products that cater to the individual needs of specific cities and communities. Haldeman advocates for a transparent secondary mortgage market equipped with a variety of securitization offerings and issuers. "Lenders of all types and sizes should have equal access to the secondary market," he said. "That way, market power is not concentrated in a few institutions, and consumers benefit from an abundance and diversity of choices." Furthermore, the Freddie CEO cautions that quality change takes time, and the urge to rush should be tempered. "Once policy decisions are made, the transition to a new structure must be gradual and carefully monitored," Haldeman said. "Shifting, complex interactions of market factors must not unduly harm investors or cut off further investment." Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.