Guest Blog Post: Engaging “relevant stakeholders” means GSE shareholders

Guest Blog by Michael Simons

August 27, 2014

Last week, the Washington, D.C.-based Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a regional conference to address the future of U.S. housing policy in Idaho. This important conversation affects every single family or individual that owns a home or aspires to one day. As members of Congress, industry leaders and Administration officials met to discuss how America can continue to bounce back from the housing crisis, they should have discussed how we achieve a post-conservatorship future for Freddie and Fannie. While convenient and profitable for the government, the conservatorship is not a viable long-term solution for the home finance market. Leaving aside questions of its illegality, the U.S. Treasury’s 6-year conservatorship of the GSEs weakens them, impedes investment and leaves thousands of Americans holding worthless shares of Fannie and Freddie.

At the forum, Sen. Crapo (R-ID), a sponsor of current housing reform legislation, urged the need to engage and educate “all relevant stakeholders” in this process. Based on his neglect in the past, I question whether Sen. Crapo would consider small investors like myself “relevant.” But we are. Legislation such as his own that fails to consider the interests of all stakeholders, and thereby ignores rule of law guarantees, will fail. Let’s learn from these failures and not repeat them. 

Michael Simons is from Beavercreek, Ohio. He is an Investors Unite member and attended meetings with his representatives in April regarding shareholder rights.