Are Fannie and Freddie Systemically Important?
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing on Tuesday titled “Should Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be Designated as Systemically Important Financial Institutions?” Witnesses included Alex J. Pollock, Distinguished Senior Fellow, R Street Institute.
The witnesses each answered the question, “are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac systematically important?” According to Pollock, they are. However, he notes that Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) should designate Fannie and Freddie as SIFIs.
“That would be consistent with the clear provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act,” Pollock stated. “In my opinion, the country needs Fannie and Freddie to be integrated into the efforts to understand and deal with systemic risk. Without including Fannie and Freddie, these efforts are woefully incomplete.”
While Holtz-Eakin and Pollock suggest a SIFI designation, Wachter suggests be designated as Systemically Important Financial Market Utilities (SIFMUs).