WASHINGTON — Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton on Monday urged housing finance executives to focus less on the fate of his company and Fannie Mae and more on the lending infrastructure the two have marshaled.
Layton spoke to executives attending the Mortgage Bankers Association annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center.
He said he “would depart from corporate speak” in his remarks which he described as “insights....gathered from his observations of the political and regulatory world of Washington.”
Layton's leading insight was that what he called the infrastructure of mortgage origination and securitization was the most important part of his company and Fannie Mae and, therefore, should be the most important part of secondary market reform, no matter what form it finally took.
Layton described the lending infrastructure as the hundreds of computer procedures, people and years of experience that the two secondary market giants have accumulated. He told the audience that he had been relieved and gratified to note the numbers of federal legislators who also have begun to understand how important this infrastructure is.
“They are beginning to realize this is not the infrastructure of one company, this is the infrastructure of an entire industry,” he said. Later, answering questions after his remarks, Layton explained that maintaining the lending infrastructure was crucial to maintaining access to the secondary market for smaller and medium-sized mortgage loan originators.
If the infrastructure were not maintained, he pointed out, larger lenders who had developed their own infrastructure and hooked it up with that of the two GSEs would have an advantage over smaller institutions who would largely only have had the current infrastructure to use.