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Ferrum Forum Program

Ferrum College Forum on Critical Thinking, Innovation & Leadership will address the topic of U.S. Housing Financing Reform.

U.S. Housing Financing Reform: Can we manage and control tax payer risk while assuring continued innovation in the market?

Tuesday, March 17, 2014  |  Registration 8:00am  |  Program 9:00am – 12:00 noon  |  The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center  |  LiveStream

The 2015 annual Forum will examine the causes of market weakness and possible solutions to restoring the vitality of the U.S. housing finance system while reducing taxpayers' risk to potential future losses.

The U.S. housing finance system has not recovered from the traumatic shock of the 2008 collapse in home valuations and the large financial losses imposed on lenders, homeowners, and taxpayers. The credit crisis resulting from the collapse is often cited as the primary cause of the Great Recession in the United States.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain in government conservatorship, which effectively amounts to government ownership. Almost 9 of every 10 new mortgages are currently financed by the government. This practice is widely regarded as unsatisfactory, inefficient, and unsustainable, but efforts to enact reform have gotten little traction in the Congress to-date.

Questions for discussion include:

  • How would the Housing Finance Reform legislation now before the Congress reshape this vital market?
  • Should Fannie and Freddie be wound down? How? Are there legitimate concerns about the “taking” of property from Fannie and Freddie shareholders by the federal government?
  • Is the Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) a useful form of public-private partnership for achieving public policy goals?
  • Is a federal back-up guarantee for mortgages necessary to preserve a liquid market and easy access to credit with 30- year fixed-rate mortgages?
  • What are the most effective means of increasing the “affordability” of housing? Is there a continuing role for FHA? 

Details will be posted as they become available.