Big changes may be ahead for the mortgage markets. Today, the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association stated today that he feels that federal policy makers should merge the Mortgage Backed Securities issued by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in an effort to begin replacing the Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs) and coming up with one new company. Regulators say that merging the two could begin the transition toward a much larger mortgage market overhaul.
In addition, this could be the first step in what will be a long process to have private capital play a larger role in the mortgage market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac don”t issue the cash for home loans but instead guarantee the mortgages that they pool into mortgage backed securities, which they then sell to investors. The GSEs account for nearly 2/3s of all mortgages in recent years.
There were no economic reports today and the rest of the week”s calendar is a non-event with just weekly initial jobless claims being released on Thursday. Stocks and Bonds opened the week near unchanged levels due to the light economic calendar and in the absence of any major geo-political headlines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 closed at record high levels on Friday after positive data on the job markets along with the continued support from the Federal Reserve”s stimulus programs.
The summer driving season will be quickly upon us as the unofficial start to the summer happens at the end of the month with Memorial Day Weekend. The American Automobile Association (AAA) said last week that families looking to take long driving vacations this summer will most likely see lower prices at the pump than last year. The current national average for a regular gallon of gasoline is currently $3.53 after dropping 13 cents in April. AAA says that we could see average prices between $3.20 and $3.40 a gallon this summer due to lower oil prices, decreased motorist demand and decent refinery production.