WASHINGTON - With the media shining a harsh spotlight these days on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, it came as no surprise that the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) held a session devoted exclusively to the beleaguered GSEs at the National Secondary Market Conference & Expo held last week.

Tackling issues of regulation, affordable housing and other matters dear to the orphaned GSEs, panelists Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) of the House Financial Services Committee and Wayne Abernathy, assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Department of Treasury, often diverged in their views. The recent sharp boost in lending targets by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) made the meeting particularly timely.

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