The many challenges facing Trump on promised GSE reform. Where will GSE reform rank in priority?

December 1, 2016 – HOUSING WIRE

Reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moved from a backburner issue to a hot topic after Treasury secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin revealed his plans for GSE reform in an interview on Wednesday.

Rather than be wound down, as some including another rumored choice to lead the Treasury, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, advocate for, Mnuchin said the government-sponsored enterprises will be taken out of “government ownership,” restructured, and privatized.

Mnuchin said returning the GSEs to private control is an important issue. For the Trump administration, he said, “It’s right up there in the top 10 list of things we’re going to get done. And we’ll get it done reasonably fast.”

The idea and desire for GSE reform isn’t an easy hurdle to clear though, as Jeb Mason, a partner at The Cypress Group, explained in an interview with HousingWire’s Editor-in-Chief Jacob Gaffney.

After moderating a panel on GSE reform at the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families Forum in Dallas on Nov. 18, Mason recapped the biggest challenges facing President-elect Donald Trump on reforming the GSEs. He should know. From December 2006 to January 2009, Mason served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and Policy Advisor to Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., among other career achievements.

“The president-elect, despite having a lot of other priorities, isn’t going to be able to ignore GSE reform,” Mason said in his interview with HousingWire.

“The real challenge I think is that there is so many other things that are going to be on the national agenda that it’s figuring out where this is going to rank in terms of priority,” he said.

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