Treasury to Discuss the Futures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Treasury to Discuss the Futures of Fannie Mae and Freddie MacThe future of the government-backed mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which critics have accused of exacerbating the meltdown in the U.S. housing market, will be discussed next month at a conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

According to a press release, the Conference on the Future of Housing Finance, set for Aug. 17, "will bring together leading academic experts, consumer and community organizations, industry groups, market participants, and other stakeholders for an open discussion about housing finance reform. " There will be plenty to talk about.

The Obama administration, which has spent $145 billion stabilizing Fannie and Freddie, is under pressure to abolish the finance companies from Republicans and some Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Both lenders are currently being run by regulators after they were seized by the federal government in September 2008. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the time to act is now.

"The future of our housing finance system is critical not only to our economic recovery, but also to millions of American homeowners in every corner of our country," Geithner said in a press release. "Now is the time to build on the foundation we laid with the historic Wall Street Reform legislation President Obama signed last week and aggressively move forward to improve our nation's housing finance system."

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