The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee is holding a hearing on the role of government sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the mortgage market Feb. 10 in Washington, D.C.

 

The witnesses will be John Weicher, Federal Housing Commissioner, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Richard Green of George Washington University’s School of Business; Anthony B. Sanders of the department of finance at Ohio State University; Susan M. Wachter of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and Allen Fishbein of the Consumer Federation of America.

The hearing comes in the wake of accounting scandals at both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. In December 2004, Fannie Mae replaced Franklin Raines, its chairman and CEO, who announced he was taking early retirement, and Fannie Mae’s chief financial officer, Timothy Howard, resigned Dec. 21.

In late January, a bill to strengthen regulation of government sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was introduced by three Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

The legislation would create an independent regulator with the power to shut down the home loan financing giants and other GSEs to protect against a taxpayer bailout if they are failing. The regulator would also have the power to approve new programs and products proposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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