Maybe all of the talk about ending the GSE's long term incarceration in conservatorship is more than talk this time. Earlier this week both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced they would be issuing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) seeking to hire financial advisors to that end. Then, late Wednesday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the GSE conservator, said it was seeking comments on proposed revisions to its own 2018 proposal to establish a new regulator capital framework for the two companies. FHFA said the changes to its proposal "ensure each [GSE's] safety and soundness and its ability to fulfill its statutory mission across the economic cycle, in particular during periods of financial stress. The re-proposal is also a critical step toward responsibly ending the conservatorships." FHFA Director Mark Calabria, referencing the current COVID-19 pandemic, said "This national health crisis has affirmed the importance of the [GSE's] mission to serve the American housing market during good times and bad. When credit dries up, low- and moderate-income households are hurt most. We must chart a course for the [GSEs] toward a sound capital footing so they can help all Americans in times of stress. More capital means a stronger foundation on which to weather crises. The time to act is now."


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