GSE reform to gain momentum - or stall - this week

|By:, SA News Editor

As soon as tomorrow, the Senate Banking Committee will decide if GSE reform legislation - which would wind down Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) over five years - will move forward or not. At the moment, committee leaders are involved in busy horse-trading to win over a few of the half-dozen Democrats on the panel who haven't yet come out in support.

An impasse means the status quo - in which the two companies operate under federal control with no resolution on the status of privately-owned stakes - could continue for years.

At the moment, a majority looks to be in place to move the bill out of committee, but Majority Leader Reid is expected to allow a floor vote only if more Democrats come on board. “Senate leadership appears far from enthused by the prospects of a floor vote on the measure,” says Compass Point's Isaac Boltanksy. “Reforming the mortgage market just doesn’t fit into the pre-election priorities of either party.”