This past weekend, I was in our Nation’s capital. It is always interesting to see things from the inside looking out, as opposed to from the outside looking in. It is like being in a house of mirrors.
One thing is apparent: the Beltway economy is not suffering like places such as Florida, Nevada, and Detroit. As a result, our elected representatives and the administration may not truly understand the depth of the housing crisis. I think they still blame the greed of “over ambitious” homeowners and speculators as opposed to the real driving force: Wall Street, the over-sized “too big to fail” banks and themselves. The buzz, of course, was the fact that Fannie Mae may have been playing its own political three card “monty” with homeowners over the past year. Simply put: whistleblower Caroline Herron, a former Fannie Mae executive and consultant, is suggesting the administration pushed for temporary modifications knowing full well that many of the loan modifications would fail prior to becoming permanent. In fact, Congress is now pushing for hearings.
Fannie Mae executives bungled their responsibilities of the federal government’s massive foreclosure-prevention campaign, creating a bureaucratic muddle characterized by “mismanagement and gross waste of public funds,” according to the suit Herron filed. The suit alleges that the homeowner-relief effort was marred by delays, missteps and executives’ preoccupation with their institution’s short-term financial interests. “It appeared that Fannie Mae officers were focused on maximizing incentive payments available to Fannie Mae under various federal programs – even if this meant wasting taxpayer money and delaying the implementation of high-priority Treasury programs,” Herron claims in the lawsuit.