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HUD nominee Castro urges Congress to end Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ‘duopoly’

By Elvina Nawaguna WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, urged lawmakers on Tuesday to move forward with efforts to shutter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying the current housing finance system is not serving Americans well. Castro told…

Wells Fargo pays $335 million to settle Fannie and Freddie lawsuits

Wells Fargo said Wednesday it had agreed to pay $335 million to settle claims by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that it overstated the quality of mortgage securities it sold them. The US bank said the two state-controlled housing finance agencies had agreed to the sums having earlier pulled out…

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin merging operations

The regulator of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac detailed plans Monday to begin contracting their business while merging their securitization operations. Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Edward DeMarco said the two, rescued by the government in 2008 in a $180 billion bailout after the housing market…

Some Fed policymakers want more stimulus

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve policymakers viewed the US economy’s outlook as particularly clouded, and some wanted to ramp up large-scale asset purchases, according to the minutes of their last meeting published Wednesday. “Participants saw considerable uncertainty surrounding the outlook for a gradual pickup in economic growth,” the minutes of the…

U.S. government to sue major banks over mortgages: report

The United States plans to file lawsuits against more than a dozen big banks over mortgage-backed securities seen to have fueled the 2008 economic crisis, the New York Times said. The lawsuits are set to be filed Friday or early next week against Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman…

Downgrade batters U.S. stock markets

US stocks dropped sharply on Monday, while Treasury bond prices actually rose in the wake of Standard & Poor’s unprecedented downgrade of the United States’s credit rating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 334.68 points (2.9 percent) to 11,109.93 at 1630 GMT. The broader S&P 500 dropped 45.64 points (3.8…

S&P downgrades mortgage giants Fannie, Freddie

Standard & Poor’s downgraded mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from triple-A to AA+ Monday, citing their direct reliance on the US government, which it downgraded last Friday. S&P also downgraded 10 out of 12 Federal Home Loan Banks and the senior debt issued by the Federal Farm Credit…

Bachmann borrowed from the federal home loan programs she wanted to shut down

Despite the fact that she has spoken against loan insurers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Washington Post discovered that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) took out a mortgage totaling $417,000 to help finance her golf course home — backed by Fannie or Freddie. Weeks later, the woman who would become…

Republican Senator Scott Brown backs Wall Street bill

Historic US legislation to overhaul the rules on Wall Street took a big step Monday towards final passage as a holdout Republican senator said he would vote for the White House-backed bill. “While it isn’t perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote,” said…

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