Focused on Dodd-Frank, SIFMA sees GSE reform down the road
Housing finance may be looking for changes in the way mortgages in America are funded. However, hope of a short-term solution does not seem likely, according to one trade group. Substantial reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remains one or two years away according to a conference call hosted by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The reason for this is mainly logistics. Reform of the government-sponsored enterprises will need to wait while the rest of the financial services industry begins to put forth its interpretation of the otherwise wide-reaching Dodd-Frank Act. In the meantime, "financial services remain frustrated by the inability to effectively jump-start the (private-label) securitization business," said SIFMA President Tim Ryan. The Treasury will release a white paper at the end of January detailing its recommendations on how to reform the housing finance market, to which SIFMA told press attendees during the conference call that any implementation of reform based on that report will take several years to complete. SIFMA itemized 15 major issues to address this year. Among them is derivatives reform and aligning incentives under Dodd-Frank financial reform, as well as addressing secondary market opinions on Fannie and Freddie. However, "this is not one of our top priorities," Ryan said, of reforming the GSEs, although he said it will remain a core issue for SIFMA. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.