Vice President Mike Pence’s chief economist is said to be next in line to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.
Mark Calabria is said to be President Donald Trump’s pick to next lead the overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The current head of the FHFA, Mel Watt, is set to depart in January. Watt also recently faced some serious allegations involving his alleged conduct while in his role.
Prior to serving as Mike Pence’s chief economist, Calabria served at the Cato Institute and has long been an advocate for housing finance reform. As Pence’s economist, Calabria famously called for the end of the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Five years ago, Calabria expressed distaste at the way the government-sponsored enterprises were being run. In 2013, Freddie Mac failed to refer nearly 58,000 foreclosed homeowners who owed $4.6 billion on their guaranteed loans, thereby neglecting its chance to seize properties from those who defaulted on mortgage payments, a watchdog noted.
Calabria didn’t like the news.
“It’s a fairly small number in the scheme of things,” explained Calabria, at the time. “But I think it reinforces the current nature of mortgage finance policy, which is not to hold borrowers responsible. This isn’t just about Freddie, but it’s also about these borrowers sticking it to the taxpayer.”
Now, Calabria could soon be in charge of the regulator that oversees the GSEs. And that could lead to serious winds of change at the GSEs and for the U.S. housing economy.