Mortgage Editor Up for Fannie Mae Job?


First things first: Yes, I can live on $500,000. Heck, I can live on $250,000 a year. Would I like to run Fannie Mae, the government-controlled mortgage giant? Answer: Sure, why not? But first I have a few stipulations. In exchange for throwing away a (somewhat) distinguished career in financial journalism I demand that you meet these terms: I will take the job only if you listen to my fixes for the GSEs. What are those fixes? I’m not going to tell you unless you hire me but I will give you a little taste: don’t kill the GSEs outright but whatever you do, codify into law—never to be removed from law—a requirement that anyone managing a GSE is banned forever from lobbying Congress or the White House. Moreover, they cannot hire inside or outside lobbyists either. Think of where we might be today if Jim Johnson, Frank Raines and their ilk couldn’t call on their friends in Congress—both Democrats and Republicans—to do their bidding and pay “protection money” through campaign donations. Oh, and there’s another rule that needs to be written: No campaign donations by GSE employees to anyone. Got that? As for the hours, for $500,000 a year—a bargain compared to the $6 million Mike Williams is getting—I’m only working 45 hours a week and at least one day in a home office. I don’t want to travel much either. I have two kids involved in sports and theatre and my intention is to see as many of their soccer games and plays as possible. Got that? What are my qualifications? I’ve written about mortgages, banking, and real estate for 20-plus years, co-authored two decent selling books, got myself on TV a few times, and had Warner Bros. buy an option on one book (never produced). Also, I can tap any number of sources—including some really big guns who shall never be revealed—to make the tough decisions needed to run an $800 billion thrift. Here’s one thought: discounted sodas for the staff. OK, I’m serious (not about the sodas, though). Politically, I’m an independent so I can appeal to both parties. Ed DeMarco, call me. Let’s do lunch or have the search firm dial me up. Drop me a line at

By the way, we understand that former FHA chief David Stevens doesn’t want the Fannie Mae CEO job. Stevens now heads the Mortgage Bankers Association which holds its national servicing show this weekend. Stevens has been at MBA just shy of a year. He, of course, had no comment on the matter. If I was Fannie’s CEO, I’d talk to the press all the time…

Consider this my April Fool’s column six few weeks early…

This past week National Mortgage News broke the news that Nationstar is looking to buy Aurora Loan Services. Meanwhile, NMN‘s website is seeing increased traffic thanks to original stories you can’t get elsewhere, articles penned by staffers such as Brian Collins, Austin Kilgore, Bonnie Sinnock, Brad Finkelstein, Kate Berry and others…

WASHINGTON NEWS: The House and Senate on Friday passed a $150 billion bill that extends a payroll tax reduction and unemployment benefits for 10 months without increasing guarantee fees on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. In the search for ways to pay for the extension, a hike in g-fees was contemplated but then ultimately rejected. One thought: Who says Congress is stupid? I guess they realized that g-fee hikes are passed on to consumers.

MORTGAGE PEOPLE: Southwest Securities hired two traders to join the firm’s fixed-income division, David Cohen and Brian Rellstab. The fixed-income division includes MBS.

LOAN OFFICERS, BRAG A LITTLE: NMN and its sister publication Origination News, the most widely led news magazine in the broker/correspondent sector, has launched its annual loan officer survey. Eventually, we’ll publish features and rankings on the nation’s top LOs. To participate in our survey visit

DATA STUFF: If you need a list of the nation’s top servicers ranked by receivables, subservicing or delinquencies drop an email to and ask about our Quarterly Data Report. It’s a 50-page Excel spreadsheet. Also check out our exclusive mortgage data website:

MUST ATTEND MORTGAGE SHOWS: From April 17-19 National Mortgage News and SourceMedia will hold their annual Mortgage Servicing Conference at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas. For more information see the ads on our website or email or click here

I’m on Twitter, discussing mortgage matters and spring training.

LAST WORD: Have a safe holiday weekend. Go skiing if you have snow.

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