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Tue, 12/31/2013

By Paul Muolo

There’s about to be a shake-up of senior staff at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which seems logical now that new director Mel Watt is settling in. Industry advisors who do business with the agency are speculating on the fates of Patrick Lawler, who has held a senior economist title and Mario Ugoletti, a senior advisor. One person who attended Watt’s swearing-in ceremony this week had this to say on the matter: “Mel sure did have a lot of former and current staffers at the ceremony yesterday. I suspect he will be looking to place a number of them at FHFA”…

Uber consumer advocate Ralph Nader on January 7 penned a new letter to Watt, asking him – among other things – about his plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (Talk about your loaded questions.) He also wanted to know his views on “the rights of the common shareholders” who Nader argues were misled by a handful of key government officials in the months leading up to their Sept. 2008 seizure by Uncle Sam. One of those officials was former GSE regulator James Lockhart who vouched for their liquidity that summer. Anyway, Nader is a shareholder in the GSEs…

And one last GSE note: Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, tweeted out Tuesday afternoon that the "notion that Fannie & Freddie are going to be 'cash cows' for years to come is simply crazy; most of [their] 'profits' have been one-off issues.” Sounds like a “sell” rating to us…

Radian this morning released operating results for December, noting that it wrote $2.85 billion of policies for the month while new delinquencies totaled just 4,650 units…

MORTGAGE PEOPLE: Industry vendor DocMagic Inc. said Melanie Feliciano, its chief compliance officer, has been named to the board of the Electronic Signature & Records Association. Also, company Director of eServices, Tim Anderson, was elected to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s MISMO Residential Governance Committee.

As featured by Inside Mortgage Finance, January 2014