Bloomberg is reporting there appears to be yet another plan in the long running reality show featuring the government sponsored enterprises or GSEs. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have been in government conservatorship since 2008, are the perpetual topic of congressional hearings, partisan and non-partisan legislation, shareholder lawsuits, and nearly constant rumors.
The latest of the later, for which there appears to be substantiation, is that Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA) are working on a plan that would break each of the two, into several smaller pieces - although it is unclear what form those entities would take.
Corker and Warner are both members of the Senate Banking Committee which has a hearing on GSE reform scheduled for later this week. The Bloomberg article, authored by Joe Light, says among the ideas Corker and Warner have discussed would be to separate the GSE's multi-family businesses, which finance purchase and construction of apartment buildings, from their single-family books of business and then divvy the latter, especially Fannie Mae's, into even smaller pieces. According to Light, the ultimate goal of the plan is to create more competition in the single-family sector.
Light's information comes principally from an unnamed Senate aide however, there have been meetings acknowledged between the senators' aides and industry groups. Also, Warner spoke to a recent Mortgage Bankers Association conference and said that he and Corker had reached consensus on several issues including the necessity of preserving the 30-year mortgage.
Light said Warner also told reporters that the senators had "definitive" ideas to create more single-family competition. His spokesman, Kevin Hall, said in an email that "one concept we are exploring includes how to promote competition in the single-family market and maintain broad access to credit by removing barriers to entry."
Corker, in a statement, said "there continues to be strong, bipartisan consensus in Congress that we must act to reform our nation's housing finance system and protect taxpayers from future economic downturns."