IT WAS SUPER MONDAY. Well, not really. But it was Monday. And it was the day before Super Tuesday. So technically.... [paragraph] The presidential race was on my mind as I waited to interview Dave Stevens, the president and chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). He is an astute observer of the political scene, so I thought there must be a few insights he could give me on this crazy political year.
That's when it came to me. I would ask him who has the best hair in the presidential field. (He has great hair, so he should know, right?)
Granted, it's not the most weighty matter we could be discussing, but as I survey the candidates there's some notable hair out there. Take the Trump "'do" that seems to defy gravity as it sweeps forward, then upward and over the back. But Stevens graciously took the question and came back quickly with an answer. "Hillary," he said, without any hemming or hawing. So there you have it--an actual stance on 2016 presidential hair. (You read it here first, folks.)
But this is a serious column dealing with serious issues, so now we are going to pivot. (Love that word). He was just back from the Mid-Winter Housing Finance Conference in Colorado put on by MBA. Stevens says year after year, he's told it's the best conference MBA runs because it is such a small, select gathering of senior industry executives.
Did anything he heard there make him reorder his priorities for the short time left before Washington shuts down for the elections? Three topics got a lot of attention from those gathered, he said. Stevens broke it down for us. (None of them touched on presidential hair.)
Not surprisingly, he "heard all about concerns" related to the Integrated Disclosure rule that kicked in on Oct. 3. Even though the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) prefers everyone call it the Know Before You Owe rule, most everyone else just calls it TRID. That stands for the Truth in Lending Act (TILA)-Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Integrated Disclosure rule.
Stevens said there is a "perception that the bureau doesn't understand how significant the problems are."
The second major topic was the dysfunction in the political arena, particularly around the process of determining who will be the Republican party's presidential candidate. Former Bush administration insider Karl Rove and former Democratic Governor Howard Dean were dinner speakers at Mid-Winter and both...