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Fannie Mae's Michael Williams: Clueless in San Diego

By Phil Butler | March 6, 2011

In news from San Diego, Fannie Mae President and CEO Michael J. Williams was at the University of San Diego at an annual discussion on the future of home lending. At the top of his agenda, the Obama Administration's plans to eliminate Fannie Mae altogether - but some side stepping was involved. However slippery Williams and other officials have become, it's clear lending may never be the same again.

Williams in San Diego

Williams speaks in San Diego - Courtesy Sign On San Diego

Williams told attendees and reporters on Thursday: "Our company is preparing for change. As the policymakers consider how to reform the housing market, we expect vigorous debate on all." And then the topic of mortgages, rates, and refinancing hit the table. Talk of circumnavigating the legal processes of foreclosures, short sales, and etc., when what the industry really needs to know is whether or not Fannie Mae is in or out, and who or what will take its place? Navigating technicalities is a procedure, the institution and the guidelines are the future of the loan situation.

But then it's also likely Williams has no clue what is about to happen too. His speech at the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate's annual conference was however, meaningless without shining light on the industry's path. Rhetoric seems to be about all these executives are trained in. Williams also spoke at Hilton San Diego Bayfront:

"Our company is preparing for change. As the policymakers consider how to reform the housing market, we expect vigorous debate on all sides of the issue."

Why not just raise your shoulders, and throw up your hands, and sigh; "beats me," when asked about the future of Fannie Mae? Sure, discussion on th 30 year mortgage situation, secondary markets, and particularly borrower access are key issues that need to be ironed out, but in California in particular - professionals need solutions (answers) and they need them now.

Oh my.

Oh my. Obama and the rest of Washington fall down the rabbit hole.

White papers from the Obama administration, even more red tape to eliminate read tap, isn't anyone smart enough and willing enough to make decisions? It's as if everyone in Washington is feeling the pulse of America, waiting for a response - while the pulse gets more rapid all the time. There's no end to discussions about what should happen to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the prime culprits in the meltdown for most people. Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary said it best, speaking of the Republican Congress take on the issue:

"Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" in Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

But the truth is, all these officials are in Wonderland. Democrat versus Republican, the same old tune. The only real point of contention between the two being where they want the American people to throw away their tax dollars. The fact of the matter is, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appear to be going nowhere. They both borrow from the Treasury just to pay the Treasury.  Billions every month flow from the pockets of the American people into programs created by bankers and legislators that are broken. This so called "rabbit hole" has no end.

Don't read my rant here wrong, I don't have the answer either. But then the American taxpayer is not paying me and hundreds of my associates sweet salaries and perks to get it done either. Americans are paying a bunch of failures in Washington to continue failing. Fannie Mae makes a meager $73 million in the fourth quarter, and half of Washington cheers - ignoring the $2.6 billion borrowed to pay $2.2 billion  in interest payments to taxpayers. WTF? The industry is witnessing the world's biggest shell game.

And Michael J. Williams doesn't know the fate of Fannie Mae? Sure he does. Fannie Mae will run out its string and either go broke, magically turn a real profit, or Obama & Co. will be forced to pull the plug. My only question is; "Is it William's job to postpone the inevitable, or find solvency?" Maybe that is the question you as a professional should be asking. Or more importantly, you as a citizen. Phil out for now.

Three years Obama has had to work on this problem.

3 years ago Obama talked about Fannie Mae while a candidate - World Wars end sooner


Phil Butler is a former engineer, contractor, and telecommunications professional who is editor of several influential online media outlets including part owner of Pamil Visions with wife Mihaela. Phil began his digital ramblings via several of the world’s most noted tech blogs, at the advent of blogging as a form of journalistic license. Phil is currently top interviewer, and journalist at Realty Biz News.
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