Chris Low: The future of Fannie and Freddie

Freddie Mac headquarters in McLean, Va.

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: And let's get some analysis now from our regular Friday guest. Chris Low is chief economist at FTN Financial, and he's with us live now from here in New York. Good morning Chris.

CHRIS LOW: Good morning.

HOBSON: So what's your reaction to what David just reported?

LOW: Yeah, look I think this was a very rational response to a crisis that was not just a financial crisis but also a housing crisis. We learned in a very painful way that not everyone should a homeowner. And in fact for many homeowners that mortgage became a terrible millstone around their necks. I also agree, we don't necessarily need Fannie and Freddie any more. The mortgage market is coming back, it's healthier than it was before, and I think we will still have a housing recovery without them.

HOBSON: Well if we don't need them then why have we kept them for so long?

LOW: Well look you know I think everyone in Washington agrees Frannie and Freddie have to go. They're not popular with the public. Getting rid of them is a great idea. But everyone in Washington is also terrified if housing takes another dive as a result of shoving them down. They could lose their jobs. And for that reason they're all scared to pull the plug.

HOBSON: All comes back to politics. Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial thanks so much.

LOW: Thank you.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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