Mortgage giant Fannie Mae is getting into the single-family rental business in a big way.
The government-backed agency said it is going into business with private equity giant and major housing player Blackstone by backing $1 billion in debt. Blackstone’s Invitation Homes filed for an initial public offering this week, and the Fannie Mae relationship was disclosed afterward. Blackstone is looking to raise $1.6 billion by selling shares to the public.
Fannie Mae, currently under government conservatorship, will back $1 billion in debt collateralized by rental homes owned by Blackstone.
SEN. BOB CASEY, D-Pa., has angrily responded to treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin’s false responses to questions submitted for the record to the Senate Finance Committee, stating that Mnuchin’s “answers to basic questions are at war with facts.” The Intercept called attention to those responses on Wednesday.
Casey had asked Mnuchin if OneWest Bank, which Mnuchin led from 2009 to 2015, engaged in “robo-signing” — a process by which employees rapidly signed off on affidavits and other documents in foreclosure cases without proper reviews, creating false evidence submitted to courtrooms and county offices.
Mnuchin claimed that OneWest did not robo-sign documents, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, including an admission of guilt from a OneWest employee in a 2009 deposition.
“This seems to be part of a pattern with Mr. Mnuchin,” Casey said in a statement emailed to The Intercept.
The senator referred to a question he asked during Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing, where the nominee stated that OneWest engaged in 100,000 home loan modifications. However, this number, taken from a 2013 Treasury Department report, refers only to “trial plan offers extended” under the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. “The true number wasn’t even close to that,” Casey said correctly; as of the 2013 report, only about 36,000 of those modifications were even active, and that doesn’t count loans that later re-defaulted.
Chief among those is the “dismantling” of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.
During the presidential transition, Trump’s transition team stated that dismantling Dodd-Frank would be one of the president’s main priorities.
And on Thursday, the American public got a reminder that the president and his party plan to keep that promise.
Speaking before the Congressional Republican Retreat, Vice President Mike Pence said that dismantling Dodd-Frank and its “overbearing mandates” remains a top priority for the Trump administration, a statement that was greeted by applause from the collected Republicans.
(To see Pence’s speech in full, click here. To see the Dodd-Frank section of the speech, fast-forward to the 18:01 mark.)
After Trump and Pence spoke to the GOP retreat, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, issued a statement saying that he intends to continue pushing for the replacement of Dodd-Frank with a new financial reform package.