Max Camateros-Mann

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So far Max Camateros-Mann has created 21 blog entries.
22 09, 2022


2022-09-22T09:17:44-04:00September 22nd, 2022|5- Client Report|

HFSC Goes Easy on CEOs

At today’s big-bank oversight HFSC hearing, Committee Democrats focused on each bank’s progress on social issues, such as internal diversity, unionization, and historic roles in financing slavery.  Although Chairwoman Waters (D-CA) called for more restrictive merger-approval criteria in her opening statement, Democrats largely left the issue untouched.  Ranking Member McHenry (R-NC) framed the hearing as political “theater,” focusing on discrediting capital increases.  Committee Republicans also asked CEOs about inflation, fiscal policy, and gun merchant codes.  Chairwoman Waters concluded this marathon session by chastising the CEOs for failing fully to answer the questions she posed ahead of the hearing and demanding that they do so in five legislative days.


9 09, 2022


2022-09-09T09:48:21-04:00September 9th, 2022|5- Client Report|

Senate Banking Considers Insurance Risk, Reach

Chairman Brown (D-OH) convened a hearing today focused on the insurance industry largely focusing on the extent to which private-equity takeovers endanger insurance solvency and threaten pensioners following risk transfers.  Republicans generally denied any concerns but joined the chairman in urging U.S. agencies to play an active role in IAIS and decline to join global standards adverse to U.S. interests.  Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD) also raised the issue of insurance-industry reliance on the Home Loan Banks, but a witness representing the NAIC and the head of the Federal Insurance Office took no stand on any concerns here.  Senators also addressed insurance discrimination, reparations, cyber risk coverage, and climate hazards, but no legislation in any of these arenas was advanced.


30 08, 2022


2022-08-30T16:00:55-04:00August 30th, 2022|4- GSE Activity Report|

The No-Down Low-Down

BofA’s new no-down payment mortgage is another innovative product in which banks use their balance sheets to address their CRA obligations by offering down payment assistance or, as here, flat out nothing down.  The extent to which nonbanks can match these programs depends on the extent to which Fannie and Freddie are able and then willing to cross-subsidize the loans and then purchase them, surely a hot topic of debate between the nonbanks and the GSEs and FHFA.


19 08, 2022


2022-08-19T14:40:21-04:00August 19th, 2022|4- GSE Activity Report|

The Social-Impact Say-So

We look here at an interesting idea from three senior Fannie Mae officials: an index to measure a Single-Family MBS’s social impact.  The proposal seeks to enable socially conscious investors to support affordable housing for underserved communities while balancing the needs of mortgage borrowers, investors, and market function.  It also reflects the objectives laid out in Fannie Mae’s Equitable Housing Finance Plan such as providing social impact data and boosting low-income and minority homeownership.  The methodology thus lays out a way to measure performance that is no longer solely dependent on FHFA or comparisons to Freddie that Fannie might find unflattering.


20 07, 2022


2022-07-20T17:22:55-04:00July 20th, 2022|5- Client Report|

Thompson Emphasizes CRT, Equitable Finance, Safety as Top FHFA Objectives

At her first hearing as confirmed FHFA Director, Sandra Thompson made it clear to House Financial Services that she is committed to expanding credit-risk transfer (CRT), encouraging equitable finance via new GSE activities, and recapitalizing Fannie and Freddie as quickly as possible. Pressed by Rep. Hill (R-AR) to finalize a 2020 proposal to make new Enterprise programs subject to public notice, Ms. Thompson promised to finalize a rule but demurred when asked to do so by year-end. Her written testimony includes a commitment for a ninety-day listening session to consider a new mission for the Federal Home Loan Banks, but members did not ask about this or other recent calls to reconsider the System.


8 07, 2022


2022-07-08T17:17:25-04:00July 8th, 2022|3- This Week|

Rah-Rah for CRA

Later this week, HFSC will convene a full committee hearing on the interagency CRA rewrite (see FSM Report CRA32) entitled “Better Together.”  This is more than modestly suggestive of Democratic praise at least for the fact that the Fed, OCC, and FDIC worked together to craft the sweeping rewrite.  However, Democratic enthusiasm won’t stop there – most Democratic panel Members will either support the proposal or urge the agencies to go still farther via, for example, demanding express restrictions on bank mergers if any party to the transaction is less than totally outstanding.


8 07, 2022


2022-07-08T16:19:00-04:00July 8th, 2022|4- GSE Activity Report|

Affordable Housing is Even Harder Than You Thought

A new Fed staff note contains startling statistics on how much the housing market has changed in just a few months at grave cost to lower income households.  Although the study does not go on to draw policy conclusions, its findings make it clear that DTI underwriting tests are a significant barrier to home ownership clearly not ameliorated by the price-based QM standard.


24 06, 2022


2022-06-24T17:11:07-04:00June 24th, 2022|3- This Week|

How to Fry the Fed

As we noted last week, FRB Chairman Powell took unaccustomed heat from both the left and right even as media are replete with stories about how wrong the U.S. central bank has gotten pretty much everything about the macroeconomy.  The Senate Banking session (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE70) was more heated than the House follow-up (see Client Report FEDERALRESERVE71), an unusual turnaround for a panel which just a few months ago lauded Mr. Powell’s nomination and confirmation


22 06, 2022


2022-06-22T16:04:54-04:00June 22nd, 2022|5- Client Report|

Fed Comes Under Heightened Political Pressure

As we expected, today’s Senate Banking session with Chairman Powell is a preview of broader national debate ahead of the midterm election.  Democrats generally sought to emphasize their understanding of inflation’s costs without lambasting the Fed and, indirectly, the Biden Administration.   Still, Sens. Ossoff (D-GA) and Warnock (D-GA) pressed Mr. Powell on the Fed’s failure to begin to tighten last summer.  Republicans were strongly united in lambasting the central bank and White House, forcing Mr. Powell to stress the Fed’s commitment to fighting inflation without conceding prior mistakes or the prospect of an imminent recession.


16 06, 2022


2022-06-16T10:33:55-04:00June 16th, 2022|4- GSE Activity Report|

What’s to Come

Today’s report to Congress is FHFA’s first foray into expressing a statutory opinion since Sandra Thompson took over, a change doubtless due to her newly confirmed status and the will to tackle hard questions in which Congress has only nominal interest in the absence of another crisis. Sticking with Mel Watt, Thompson wants the GSEs turned into utilities. Adding a fillip from Mark Calabria, she wants more than two of them. A note of her own also recommends a new reserve.


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