The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing Tuesday to explore the collapse of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And, as usual, Chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, made sure to have plenty of unflattering documents on hand.
From Waxman's prepared statement:
In 2004, Freddie Mac's chief risk officer sent an E-mail to CEO Richard Syron urging Freddie Mac to stop purchasing loans with no income or asset requirements "as soon as practicable." The risk officer warned that mortgage lenders were targeting "borrowers who would have trouble qualifying for a mortgage if their financial position were adequately disclosed" and that the "potential for the perception and the reality of predatory lending with this product is great."
But Mr. Syron did not adopt the chief risk officer's recommendation. Instead, the company fired him.
Here's the E-mail that Waxman is referring to: