Smith pledges leadership of GSEs to Senate Banking Committee
North Carolina Bank Commissioner Joseph Smith pledged Thursday to offer management and leadership of the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should he be confirmed as their new administrator. Smith was nominated by President Obama to serve as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, as well as the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks across the country. Smith testified before the Senate Banking Committee Thursday. "The activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are national in scope but local in impact, directly affecting communities across the country," Smith said. "Leadership in this context means determining how to address critical local needs in conjunction with the agency's duties of conservatorship." The Senate Banking Committee and the entire Senate will vote on Smith's nomination before the end of the month. The Treasury Department is currently giving Fannie and Freddie $151 million to sustain and continue their function as a federal lender. Obama is scheduled to offer a plan for the restructuring of the GSEs to Congress in January. Write to Christine Ricciardi.