Financial Services Hearing on Mortgage Foreclosures

The Financial Services Committee is currently holding a hearing, “Legislative and Regulatory Options for Minimizing and Mitigating Mortgage Foreclosures.” Witnesses will include the Secretaries of Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, and Chairman of the Federal Reserve System Ben Bernanke, as well as the heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Watch the hearing live via committee webcast or on C Span 3.

Chairman Barney Frank gives opening remarks:

Chairman Frank:
“My difference with Mr. Greenspan is that he implicitly assumed there that the choice was between deflating the economy, raising interest rates and slowing activity down, and doing nothing. And this notion that there are only macroeconomic responses to potwential abuses, I think is problematic. In fact there are micro-responses, specifically thoughtful regulation… and I do want to just say now, and I’ve spoken to the ranking Member, if the Senate were to send us a cherry-picked bill dealing only with the caps or only with the jumbo mortgages, we would not want to go along with that. I do want to deal with both of those, but only in the context of the overall legislation and I hope the Senate will be working with us on that.”

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, gives opening testimony:

“Beyond the actions underway at the regulatory agencies, I’m aware that the Congress is considering statutory changes to alleviate foreclosures, possibly including modernizing the programs administered by the Federal Housing Administration as Secretary Jackson has just described. Prospectively, the Federal Reserve is actively working to prevent these problems from recurring while still preserving responsible subprime lending.”
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