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Past Event

Restructuring the U.S. Residential Mortgage Market

Past Event

Restructuring the U.S. Residential Mortgage Market

Karen Dynan and Alice M. Rivlin

There is wide bipartisan agreement that government housing policies, past and present, need to be re-evaluated given their role in the financial crisis. While the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was not included in financial reform legislation last year, the Obama administration and congressional leaders are vowing action on these government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) this year. Will the new majority in the House of Representatives wind down the housing giants and if so, how fast? Can the already weak housing market survive without some kind of an explicit government back-stop? Can consensus be reached?

Read more about the Obama administration’s plan for reforming the U.S. housing market »
View archived video at »

On February 11, the Initiative on Business and Public Policy at Brookings hosted a day-long forum to discuss the issues and the options ahead as policymakers discuss the government’s role in the U.S. residential mortgage market. Secretary Timothy Geithner remarked on the administration’s strategy for reforming the nation’s housing finance markets. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan delivered the keynote address. Four papers written by experts in the housing market and finance field were released and discussed, and two panels tackled the broader issues the papers raise.

Selected papers and presentations are available below, all in PDF format.




9:30 AM -- Welcome

Reforming the Mortgage Market

Timothy Geithner

President - Warburg Pincus

Former Secretary - U.S. Department of the Treasury

10:00 AM -- Panel One: GSEs - Options and Issues

10:25 AM -- Presentation One: Catastrophic Mortgage Insurance and the Reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

11:15 AM -- Presentation Two: Government’s Role in the Housing Finance System: Where Do We Go From Here?

12:15 PM -- Keynote Address

1:30 PM -- Presentation Three: The Economics of Housing Finance Reform: Privatizing, Regulating and Backstopping the Mortgage Market

Adi Sunderam

Willard Prescott Smith Professor of Corporate Finance - Harvard Business School

Research Associate - National Bureau of Economic Research

Viral Acharya

C.V. Starr Professor of Economics - New York University, Stern School of Business

2:20 PM -- Presentation Four: Toward a Three-Tiered Market for U.S. Home Mortgages

3:20 PM -- Presentation Five: Eliminating the GSEs as Part of Comprehensive Housing Finance Reform

4:10 PM -- Panel Two: GSEs - What Have We Learned?

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