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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FHFA IG Issues Report on Fannie and Freddie Conservatorship

Freddie Mac Fannie Mae

Lending

On March 28, the Inspector General (IG) for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published a white paper that provides a general assessment of the FHFA’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the enterprises). The report provides background on the FHFA's oversight regime noting that it has evolved from one that strictly supervised the enterprises’ activities, to one that allows more operational decision-making at the enterprise level. The IG argues that the FHFA should assume a more active role in managing the enterprises and specifically notes that the FHFA (i) does not independently test and validate enterprise decision-making and (ii) is not sufficiently proactive in its oversight and enforcement of enterprise activity. The white paper acknowledges the significant challenges that the FHFA faces in its mission and provides a discussion of the tensions presented by FHFA’s dual role as conservator and regulator.