OVERNIGHT MONEY: Focus on housing policy

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) event will feature Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a key author on a bipartisan Senate plan that has attracted some attention on Capitol Hill and at the White House. 

The Senate Banking Committee is trying to produce a bill by the end of the year that will incorporate a broad range of ideas that have been floated from lawmakers and housing industry leaders that will reduce the government's role in the market. 

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the government during the 2008 financial crisis and policymakers have been batting around ideas for the past few years as to how to make the needed adjustments to attract private lenders back into the market. 

Warner and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have led the way in the Senate, while the House Financial Services Committee has produced its own bill. 

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), who has been closely involved in that effort to reduce the government's role in housing finance, will probably outline the House Republican bill, which dramatically reduces the government guarantee for loans and shifts lending primarily back to the private sector over several years. 

Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Edward DeMarco and Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante also will speak at the event, most likely about what they are doing to ensure that demand for housing is met. 

The FHA received $1.7 billion in federal bailout funds to shore up its reserve accounts at the start of the fiscal year, which was Oct. 1. 

But the agency's financial outlook is much brighter. 

Galante expects that a new examination of the agency's finances will find that it is doing much better financially than the recent assessment indicates. 

A combination of years of bad mortgages, a slowdown in new mortgage business because of rising interest rates and $5 billion in losses in a reverse mortgage program put strains on the agency's books and sapped the reserve account.

"In the next few months, we expect updated data and economic forecasts to reflect what we already know to be true — the health of the fund has improved significantly," Galante wrote to Congress recently. 


WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING

Climate and economics: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will speak Thursday along with a global who's who of climate policy at a Center for American Progress event focusing on the environmental and economic challenges of climate change and the development of solutions. 

Lew is expected to discuss the need to stop governing from crisis to crisis and, instead, focusing on accelerating economic growth and job creation.

Former Vice President Al Gore and former National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, who is a senior fellow at CAP, also will be on hand. 


ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Initial Claims: The Labor Department will release its weekly filings for jobless benefits. The report was not included on a list of delayed economic reports. 

Trade Balance: The Commerce Department releases its August data on exports and imports of U.S. goods and services.

JOLTS: The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for August evaluates the labor market's data on job openings, hires and separations.

New Home Sales: The Commerce Department releases its September report on new privately owned one-family houses sold and for sale. New home sales usually lag behind changing mortgage rates, which remain at historic lows. They also tend to be stronger early in the business cycle when pent-up demand is strong, and fade later in the cycle as the demand for housing is sated. 


WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— IRS finds new deputy commissioner

— US, EU business groups press for trade secret protections

— Camp: IRS choosing ObamaCare over taxpayers

SEC proposes crowdfunding rule

— Pelosi urges budget deal by Thanksgiving

— Audit: IRS contractors rack up tax debts

— Farm bill talks to begin next week

— Liberal congressmen call on Wal-Mart to pay $25,000 starting salary

— Home prices up in August but at a slower pace

— Heritage: House water bill 'unworthy of conservative support''


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