Stalemate on the Hill may Spare Fannie and Freddie from Reform
Stepped-up demands from liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans are threatening prospects for the Johnson-Crapo mortgage market reform legislation. Liberal Democrats want to add mandates requiring private lenders to offer loans to minority groups. Conservative Republicans are insisting that Fannie and Freddie be entirely eliminated. Too much motion in either direction would kill the bill's bipartisan support. Analysts expect the bill to pass through the Senate Banking Committee, but its prospects for passing the chamber are dim with elections looming. Legislators increasingly are willing to hold on to Fannie and Freddie as cash cows for the government, and the companies’ shareholders are getting bolder about asserting their rights to share in their good fortunes.