We start this issue with a feeling of déjà vu all over again. Decisions made during the mortgage crisis are back in the news with a powerhouse legal ruling and the Treasury’s initial thinking on how to turn back time. First, the Fifth Circuit issued an en banc decision finding the Federal Housing Finance Agency single-director structure is unconstitutional and that GSE investors may pursue their claim that FHFA exceeded its authority by directing the GSEs’ profits to the Treasury. Whether this part of the Fifth Circuit’s ruling impacts the debate among the courts on the constitutionality of the structure of the CFPB — which similarly has a single director who can only be removed for — remains to be seen.
Second, the Treasury released its Housing Reform Plan aimed at ending the government’s conservatorship of the GSEs. The Plan only underscores how challenging unwinding the financial crisis actions will be. Among several options for raising the capital needed for the GSEs to become independent is the possibility of ending the directing of their profits to the Treasury, the action targeted in the case revived by the Fifth Circuit’s decision.
Read on for more on the GSEs, the news in Beltway, Operations, Bureau, Privacy, BSA/AML, and more.
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