Falcon Resigns as Head of OFHEO
WASHINGTON - Armando Falcon, director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight since Sept. 1999, notified President Bush last week his intention to resign on May 20 as Director of the agency that regulates the housing GSEs including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank. Falcon's five-year term in the position expired Oct. 1, 2004. Stephen Blumenthal, OFHEO deputy director, has been named acting director. In his letter to Pres. Bush, he wrote that he "remained in office to guide the agency through a very challenging period" and that "the most critical and pressing issues have been addressed." Falcon stated he plans "to explore new career options." Ironically, Falcon announced his plan the same day Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.), chairman of the House Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises, introduced legislation that reforms the regulation of the GSEs. Among the provisions of Baker's bill it creates a new independent regulator of the GSEs and abolishes OFHEO within one year of the new agency's formation and transfer of functions.