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Former Fannie, Freddie Heads: Better Regs Needed

Under questioning from members of the House Oversight committee, a number of the former heads of Fannie and Freddie were asked what they got wrong and what they might have changed.

If the committee members were holding out hope for one of the witnesses to say, "You got me. I blew it. My bad," that didn't happen.

Instead, most of the four threw at least part of blame into the lap of lawmakers and regulators. That would be the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, run by James Lockhart.

"I wish we could have gotten regulatory bill relating to Fannie and Freddie enacted earlier," said former Fannie head Franklin Raines. "That would have provided some real assurance to the market about the real future of the companies."

"I had suggested simple regulatory language that said we needed to be fulsome on our mission, be safe and sound and provide a return to shareholders that was competitive," said former Freddie head Richard Syron.

An astounded and sarcastic Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho) responded by saying: "I'm getting the impression that" the four of you had nothing to do with "Fannie's and Freddie's difficulties. That you were just victims of a market."

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 9, 2008; 1:26 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Fannie, Franklin Raines, Freddie, foreclosure  
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