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Inside Washington (07/22/2008)
* WASHINGTON (7/23/08)--As members of Congress work to pass a housing package this week, the Bush administration remains poised to veto the measure if it includes a provision that allows state and local governments to buy and resell foreclosed properties, said White House spokesperson Dana Perino. The provision would cost $4 billion (American Banker July 22). The package would give the Federal Reserve Board oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and allow the Treasury to purchase the enterprises’ debts. Lawmakers, including Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)., and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) appear willing to compromise on several issues, such as raising the loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Frank, who had pushed for a six-month delay on the effective date for the enterprises’ regulation, has now eased off, saying the effective date is no longer an issue ... * WASHINGTON (7/23/08)--The health of mortgage finance enterprises will be key to the U.S.’s economic recovery, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in a speech at the New York Public Library (Reuters July 22). The country’s financial markets likely will remain stressed until the housing market improves, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are needed to finance mortgages, he added. The Treasury has proposed expanding the enterprises’ access to government loans, a measure that Congress will consider this week. Improved regulatory structure to mitigate risk from nonbank institutions also is needed to prevent a failing institution from triggering a systemic event, he said ...

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