Real estate industry favors Mnuchin’s GSE privatization proposals

  • President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is best known as a former Goldman Sachs partner and manager of several hedge funds.
  • Mnuchin wants to privatize government-sponsored enterprises Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac and also “strip back parts of” the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • Bill Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors, agreed that it's time to "wind down" government control of the GSEs.
  • The chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association cautioned that, "We don’t want to move abruptly in any way that would destabilize the market."

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Should the federal government privatize government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Yes, according to President-elect Donald Trump and his top pick for secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, Steven Mnuchin. A few statements that the Wall Street banker made to the media in the wake of Trump announcing his nomination have the housing industry abuzz, and many in the real estate and mortgage sectors are supportive of what he has to say. Bill Brown “We agree that it’s time to wind down the government’s conservatorship over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a restructuring of the secondary mortgage market is appropriate given the challenges we have ahead of us,” said William E. Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). But although Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), said that MBA favors increasing private capital in the mortgage market, he cautioned that privatizing Fannie Mae a...