I am not sure how this is going to end, but if the past few months is any indication, it is going to end in a bad way.
Conservative lawmakers have been given a mandate to cut spending. That being said, it appears all budget items are on the table, including the privatization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
In order to make to make the shift from government controlled entities back to the private sector, the two GSE's will have to be made more attractive to Wall Street and investors. One way to do so is to eliminate the subsidies and insurance now provided by the government.
That sounds good on paper, but if an action such as this is acted upon, it could place a already cold real estate market into a deep freeze. The GSE's currently purchase loans from lenders and banks and then sell them off to investors globally. This allows the lenders to offer more loans to new borrowers, and so goes the mortgage lending cycle. If the GSE's are not there, and it is left to the marketplace to decide, there could be an interruption in the cycle. The end result could ultimately harm the borrower with higher interest rates, fees and tougher loan qualifications with nowhere else to turn.
Enter the real estate consortium of real estate agents, builders, banks, civil rights groups and other concerned citizens. The NAR, ABA, NAHB, NFHA and other civil rights and real estate trade organizations are planning to go to Washington and make sure their voices are heard and actions are taken contrary to the conservative law makers wishes.
This group has galvanized their separate but equal interests in the real estate industry into one potent machine aimed at accomplishing one goal - the continuation of government backed insurance on mortgage loans.
Why is this going to be a war ? Well, a lot of new conservatives have been hired by voters to curb government spending, and cutting the responsibility of backing mortgages is a way of cutting costs and saving money. But, the aforementioned real estate and civil rights organizations are a powerful lobbying corp, with deep pockets.
These two are heavy hitters - one with a mandate to give the taxpayers what they are looking for - savings; the other looking out for the public's interest by making sure housing continues to be affordable.
I am not real clear as to which side is right, because the devil is in the details. If one side wins, does that mean the other side deserves to lose ? I have a bad feeling no matter which side is victorious, it will not end well for taxpayers or borrowers in the future...
The Ten Bulls Revisited
35 minutes ago