Morning Brief: Policy Wins At Fannie, Freddie


In this week's Washington Business section, we take a deeper look at how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are doing under conservatorship. Staff writer Zachary Goldfarb examines how the companies are handling their sometimes contradictory missions of making money and serving the public good.
"Fannie and Freddie have always had to strike a balance between the imperative of profit-maximizing, shareholder-owned institutions and the public mission of firms charged with ensuring affordable housing. But since the government seized the firms in early September, the balance has shifted," Goldfarb writes.

There is more. In an interview with Goldfarb, Franklin D. Raines, the former chief executive of Fannie talks about his time at the helm of the mortgage giant. The interview is timely as Raines and his successor at Fannie, Daniel H. Mudd, are slated to join the most recent former chief executives of Freddie, Leland C. Brendsel and Richard F. Syron, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee later this week.

The panel is examining what brought down the mortgage giants and led to the government takeover.

In other news, staff writer Anita Huslin finds that in this new age of economic austerity, companies are forgoing black-tie dinners in favor of cafeteria-catered punch-and-cookie affairs. Check out the story here.

And staff writer Amy Gardner takes a look at concern regarding development around Metrorail in Tysons Corner.

She writes that if property owners aren't quickly given power to build city-style condos and offices around those stations, redevelopment boosters say, there is a real possibility that stations will open onto empty parcels and parking lots with none of the connections to plazas, high-rises, sidewalks and street grids that planners envision.

By Alejandro Lazo  |  December 8, 2008; 7:17 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Fannie Mae , Freddie Mac , Morning Brief
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