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Freddie Mac registered some impressive gains this past quarter. Too bad they were the result of mark to marketing accounting for the most part. Yet that hasn’t stopped a rally in both GSE stocks. What I am wondering about if whether the optimism is part of a larger sense that a recovery is underway – particularly in residential housing — or if the reports that the two GSEs are being primed for a major overhaul having any impact. The CRE community seems to be of two minds about the supposed overhaul – which, frankly I am having a hard time believing is truly imminent. One school of thought is that the GSEs need it. They are hemorrhaging red ink; like a lot of lenders, they are unable to push for real momentum in their lending because of this. The other school of thought is of the it ain’t broke so don’t fix it variety. The GSEs are the only source of capital for multifamily finance right now, so any change in the charter would be a disaster for this space. For the most part I am in the second camp, just because there is such little liquidity out there it seem foolhardy to risk one of the few reliable sources. But here’s one reason for reform that I do find appealing. If Fannie and Freddie are freed of their nonperforming assets they’ll hopefully begin buying Low Income Housing Tax Credits again. They were the major buyers in this market, which has all but dried up in the last year. Fannie and Freddie aren’t buying LIHTCs because, simply put, there are no profits against which to use the credits. It’d be nice to see that change.

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