Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., testified before the Senate Banking Committee in his capacity as the Federal Housing Finance Agency nominee.
The markets reaction? Unimpressed.
"We do not believe that the hearing shifted the vote count for Rep. Watt's nomination and are therefore maintaining our current estimates," explained analysts for Compass Point Research & Trading.
"We remain pessimistic regarding Rep. Watt's nomination and believe there is only a 25% chance that he is confirmed."
Breaking down the hearing today, many Committee members fired off questions that received weak responses.
For instance, Watt was asked whether dividend payments made by the government-sponsored enterprises should reduce the amount to $187 billion the entities owe to the government through its senior preferred position.
The congressman said that he did not believe that the payments should reduce the amount owed, which is consistent with the current Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements between the Treasury and the enterprises.
Thus, Watt's performance during his nomination hearing was not strong enough to shift the political winds in his favor because his answers to broader questions ranged from non-committal to disjointed, Compass Point noted.
"Rep. Watt struggled with questions regarding the role of private capital, the prioritization of GSE housing goals, and his qualifications to lead the FHFA," the analysts explained.
They concluded, "Ultimately, it was our view that Rep. Watt needed to produce an impressive performance during this hearing in order to shift the political dynamics defining his nomination. While we believe that Rep. Watt did not weaken his prospects for confirmation, he did not advance his cause during this hearing either."