Mortgage Finance & Housing Reform: A Historical Context

Networks Financial Institute Policy Brief 2018-PB-01

16 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2018

See all articles by Richard Christopher Whalen

Richard Christopher Whalen

Whalen Global Advisors LLC; Mortgage Bankers Association; National Mortgage News; FINRA

Date Written: February 16, 2018


Since the collapse of the U.S. financial markets in 2008, Congress and the policy community have been engaged in a broad-based discussion about the housing market reform, including making significant changes to the operations of government sponsored entities (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, which insure investors against the credit risk of most residential mortgages issued in the US. Over the past decade, the Senate and the House of Representatives have both put forward proposals to alter or eliminate one or more of the GSEs and expand the role of private capital in supporting the housing market, but no proposal has yet gained sufficient political support to pass Congress. Indeed, given the political gulf that exists between the two major political parties, it seems likely that there will be no meaningful housing legislation passed by Congress for years to come. This paper examines the debate over housing financial reform in historical context and then offers some suggests on how to move the debate forward to a conclusion in terms of reforming the GSEs.

Keywords: housing market, reform, mortgage finance

JEL Classification: G21, G28, H81

Suggested Citation

Whalen, Richard Christopher, Mortgage Finance & Housing Reform: A Historical Context (February 16, 2018). Networks Financial Institute Policy Brief 2018-PB-01, Available at SSRN: or

Richard Christopher Whalen (Contact Author)

Whalen Global Advisors LLC ( email )

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BRIARCLIFF MANOR, NY New York 10510-8903
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Mortgage Bankers Association ( email )

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