SO HE'S DONE THE WHOLE "COMMISSIONER" THING. And "chief executive officer" has been on his resume a few times. But we heard Dave Stevens was in line for a brand-new title. What could it be? [paragraph] Try father of the bride.
We got a big smile when we asked about it. Stevens' daughter is getting married next summer, the CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) confirmed. It turns out it became official the Friday before we interviewed him.
We sat down with Stevens on a Monday afternoon. He was just back from Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, for his last skiing trip of the season. The mountain got 24 inches of new snow in two days, while he was there. He said it was "fantastic." (But after an unusually harsh East Coast winter, snow like that in D.C. would have been welcomed with another word.) But, never mind.
His winter-sports downtime was well in the rear-view mirror by the time we sat down with him on April 7. And the politics of government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform was in high gear.
The Senate Banking Committee's chairman and ranking member had released legislative language and had scheduled a bill markup date for April 29.
It was showtime for Stevens and his team.
On top of that, it was the same week that MBA was hosting roughly 400 industry people at its annual National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. Hundreds of mortgage industry advocates would be making visits with lawmakers seeking to build momentum for housing finance reform and other key issues.
Because he is such a great political handicapper, we wanted to get his view on whether GSE reform was even feasible in an election year.
In the weeks running up to the advocacy conference, two new legislative proposals had seen daylight. One was the long-awaited bipartisan proposal from Senators Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The other was a proposal from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California). Those two proposals are in addition to an earlier bill from House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) called the PATH Act, and an earlier Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia).
So, what are the odds of passing any kind of GSE reform bill this year?
"The fact that they have bills in the Senate and the House shows one common theme--that Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate are trying to get GSE reform done," he said.
But he quickly added: "It's a complex issue."
In terms of...