While a great deal of chatter today centered around the American Banker article by Kate Berry and Jeff Horwitz about the unholy alliance of HUD, George Soros, and an advocacy group that makes its money by suing banks on trumped-up grounds of racial discrimination, that article is only the first of a series. I want to read the rest of the series to see if the butter is as rancid as it appears to be from the first installment.
My immediate attention was drawn today to the news that a bi-partisan group of Senators is taking on the eminent domain madness that has swept up municipalities like Richmond, California into the vortex of unintended consequences. The straw that apparently broke the solons' backs were letters sent by Richmond to some mortgage loan investors that threaten to us the power of eminent domain if the loan owners don't sell their loans to the city. That prompted four senators to write a "strongly worded" letter to HUD demanding that HUD step in and tell Richmond that if it pursues this course, it can kiss FHA loans in that city goodbye. That's what the FHFA did regarding Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac financing.
To the surprise of no one (including, I strongly suspect, Kate Berry and Jeff Horwitz), HUD's response was tepid. HUD is "monitoring the situation." The senators are demanding more than that from HUD.
Good luck with that, senators. HUD's apparently too busy concocting "disparate impact" regulations and working hand-in-glove with professional "non-profit fair lending advocacy groups" to squeeze settlement money out of reputation-risk-averse big banks to actually help to save mortgage lending in Richmond, California. With this crowd, ideology trumps the market place.