May 13

Past Event

The Future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

A Conversation with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Mel Watt

Event Materials



  • FHFA’s Role: Manage Fannie and Freddie Under Current Statutory Mandates

    Mel Watt, Director, FHFA: The agency’s role is to manage Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under current statutory mandates to ensure that Fannie and Freddie operate in a safe and sound manner, to preserve their assets, and to ensure a liquid and efficient national housing finance market.

  • Maintain Fannie and Freddie’s Core Operations

    Mel Watt, Director, FHFA: Our first strategic goal, MAINTAIN, requires Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to carry out and strengthen three aspects of their core operations, including their role in the multifamily sector, particularly for affordable housing.

  • Bring More Private Capital into Housing Finance System to Reduce Taxpayer Risk

    Mel Watt, Director, FHFA: Our second strategic goal is focused on ways to bring additional private capital into the system to reduce taxpayer risk. The goal focuses on ways to scale back Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s overall risk exposure.

  • Building a New Single-Family Securitization Infrastructure for GSEs

    Mel Watt, Director, FHFA: A Common Securitization Platform is the core of the effort to build a new infrastructure for the government-sponsored enterprises’ securitization functions. One of our top objectives is to make sure it works for the benefit of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  • FHFA Will Continue Conservatorship of Fannie/Freddie Until Legislation Passed

    Mel Watt, Director, FHFA: Our role is to make sure that we have a solid plan for continuing the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the federal home loan banks, so that there will be liquidity and efficiency in the housing market. We’ll do that until there is housing finance legislation passed.


Brookings Multimedia content requires JavaScript. Your browser either doesn't have JavaScript or doesn't have it enabled.

Instructions to enable JavaScript.


Five years after being placed into conservatorship by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the housing Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are again profitable, and have paid dividends in excess of the $187 billion in taxpayer support that was provided to maintain their solvency. But the structure of these GSEs and their roles in the mortgage finance market remains largely unchanged since pre-crisis days. Is the time ripe to revisit their breadth, goals and structure? What should the future of housing finance look like? What should be the GSEs’ roles in supporting the still recovering housing market?

On May 13, the Economic Studies program at Brookings hosted a conversation with Mel Watt, the new director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, on managing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the present and the 2014 strategic plan for the conservatorship of Fannie and Freddie. Watt was followed by a panel of housing and consumer experts discussing the state of the housing market, the GSEs’ role in it, as well as the current reforms pending in Congress. Vice President and Director of Economic Studies Ted Gayer served as moderator for Director Watt’s keynote address; Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Timiraos moderated the panel.

Event Agenda

  • Welcome and Keynote Moderator

  • Keynote Address

    • Mel Watt


      The Federal Housing Finance Agency

  • Panel Discussion

    • Moderator

      Nick Timiraos


      Wall Street Journal

    • Mark Fleming

      Chief Economist


    • Michael D. Calhoun


      Center for Responsible Lending

    • Phillip Swagel

      Professor in International Economic Policy

      University of Maryland School of Public Policy

    • Mike Malloy

      Mortgage Policy and Counterparty Relations Executive

      Bank of America


May 13, 2014

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.


Join the Conversation


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications