Shelby Requests Federal Watchdogs Probe FHFA, Fannie, Freddie

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby on Monday requested the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Budget Office look into practices at the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the government-sponsored enterprises it oversees.

“Congress has a responsibility to conduct proper oversight over both the FHFA and the GSEs,” the Alabama Republican said in a statement. “It is my hope that GAO and CBO will provide the Committee with meaningful data regarding the market impact of FHFA’s decisions to ensure that Congress takes steps to protect American taxpayers from risk.”

In a letter to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, who leads the GAO, Shelby requested a detailed assessment of how FHFA’s practices influence markets, along with a study of possible outcomes from aspects of housing finance reform.

He issued a separate request for a study into the federal government’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a letter to CBO Director Keith Hall.

Shelby asked for the CBO to submit its report by July, and for GAO to submit as much of its findings as possible by Nov. 1.


Finance Brief: SEC Says Corporate Filing System Was Hacked in 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission said its system for storing documents filed by publicly traded companies was hacked sometime last year. In an eight-page statement on cybersecurity, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said no personal information was stolen in the cyberattack, which was detected last year, but the SEC learned last month that the data “may have provided the basis for illicit gain through trading.”

Finance Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

The fallout from the massive data breach at Equifax Inc. has the potential to derail congressional GOP efforts to pass legislation that would limit civil penalties for credit reporting companies sued by consumers. Lawmakers such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are now investigating the Equifax breach, as is the Federal Trade Commission.

Finance Brief: Warren Begins Equifax Investigation

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said her office is now investigating the massive data breach at Equifax Inc. and is pushing for legislation that would allow consumers to freeze access to their credit files without paying a fee. Warren also asked TransUnion Inc. and Experian Inc., two of Equifax’s top competitors, to weigh in alongside federal regulators on whether Congress should pass legislation to strengthen consumer protections.

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