Industry News

New fiscal diet for Fannie Mae proposed

Legislator proposes portfolio-reducing rules for Fannie, Freddie

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Legislation that could force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to significantly reduce their investment portfolios was released Friday by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., the Washington Post reported. By proposing to give a new regulator broad discretion over the kinds of assets Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can hold, Shelby has followed the course preferred by the Bush administration – but set up a possible conflict with the House, where Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley, R-Ohio, supports a less strict set of rules, the Post reported. Oxley has also been working toward a set of rules for the mortgage giants, whose combined investment portfolios total $1.5 trillion. Fannie Mae has been shrinking its portfolio to bolster its capital cushion and meet regulatory requirements as it struggles to resolve accounting problems uncovered by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight last year that led to the possible restatement of as muc...