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GSE Reform: On a Road to Nowhere

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By James Collins

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.54.18 PMI was on my way to pick up my daughter from college, driving along an empty highway in Eastern Washington, when I passed a road sign that read, “Welcome to Nowhere”.

A few or maybe 100 miles later, I passed another sign. It read, “You’re in the middle of it”.

“Aha!” I thought to myself, “This is basically where GSE reform is too: A place on the map where nobody wants to go.”

First, a history lesson

In 1938, after the great depression, Congress created the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) to provide local banks with money so more families would be able to purchase homes. In 1954 the FNMA was reformed as a private/public corporation. It became a publicly held company in 1968 and was finally made into an NBC miniseries in 2004.

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