Politics & MoneyMagazineMortgage

The fate of Fannie and Freddie hangs in the balance

Election results will determine the future of housing as we know it

September 2020, Fannie and Freddie

On the November ballot, you won’t find the names of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two companies that back about half the outstanding mortgages in the U.S. But the outcome of this year’s presidential election could decide their fates.

Neither party wants to get rid of the companies. What’s up in the air is whether they will be restored to something similar to their prior status as quasi-government entities – meaning, they traded as private companies on the New York Stock Exchange but benefited from an implied government backing – or whether they’ll remain in the hands of the government.

Mark Calabria, the former chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence who was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2018 to become the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has always listed the goal of ending their 12-year conservatorships as one of his top priorities. 

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