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Economic News

The long career path of Fannie Mae’s next CEO

As Fannie Mae continues to be government sponsored, the firm is under the microscope as they announce their new CEO who will be tasked with leading the firm out of years of financial ruin.



fannie mae

New Fannie Mae CEO named

Fannie Mae announces new CEO

Fannie Mae has announced the appointment of Timothy Mayopoulos as the CEO of government backed firm, after the January announcement that after just two years as CEO, Michael Williams was stepping down for reasons not released.

The government-sponsored entity was put into conservatorship in 2008 to save it from failing, and posted losses of $5.1 billion in the third quarter of 2011 and requested $7.8 billion more in taxpayer support from the Treasury Department, the same month that they were criticized for wasteful spending and for awarding executives exorbitant bonuses despite struggling to perform without further governmental aide.

In December, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged six former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives with civil fraud for misrepresenting their holdings of high-risk mortgage loans, although Williams has come out clean, former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd was charged. Additionally, two former CEOs of Fannie Mae, James A. Johnson and Franklin Raines were named as recipients of low-cost “Friends of Angelo” loans from Countrywide, a conflict of interest for the two.

Timothy Mayopoulos’ career path

“I am honored with this extraordinary opportunity to lead Fannie Mae during this critical period,” Mayopoulos said in a statement. “We have a responsibility to return value to taxpayers and to contribute our expertise and experience to building a more effective and stable housing finance system for the future.”

In May, Fannie announced it would not require additional bailout money as it had its best quarterly results since 2004. Mayopoulos will take a pay cut from his $2.9 million compensation from Fannie Mae in 2011 (including stock options) to a base salary of $600,000 as legislation recently reduced executive pay at the mortgage giant. He will still be due salary and incentives earned in this year that have been deferred, which will be paid next year.

Edward DeMarco, the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, said in a statement that Mayopoulos would lead efforts to “continue strengthening Fannie Mae and provide critical foreclosure prevention services as we build the foundation for the secondary mortgage market of the future.”

Mayopoulos has an interesting career that critics will see as marked with deep roots in the financial industry, while supporters will likely see as ambitious and filled with accomplishments. Mayopoulos’ professional timeline is featured below:

  • Graduated from Cornell University with a BA in English with distinction.
  • Earned his JD cum laude from New York School of Law where he also served as the Editor of the NYU Law Review.
  • October 1986 – September 1994: practiced at Davis Polk & Wardwell private law practice.
  • October 1994 – April 1996: served in the Office of Independent Counsel during the Whitewater scandal.
  • May 1996 – November 2000: Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette.
  • November 2000 – May 2001: Managing Director and Senior Departmental General Counsel at Americas of Credit Suisse First Boston.
  • January 2002 – January 2004: Managing Director and General Counsel at Americas of Deutsche Bank.
  • January 2004 – December 2008: Executive Vice President, General Counsel at Bank of America. It is said he was ousted during the Merrill Lynch acquisition.
  • April 2009 – current: Chief Administration Officer, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of Fannie Mae.
  • Currently the co-chair of the Appleseed Foundation which is a non-partisan organization that offers pro bono legal services and fights for reform.

Economic News

How small businesses can keep up with the changing workforce

(ECONOMIC) Trade schools are booming as career outlook grows. College enrollment is down. The workforce is changing. How can small business keep up?



Trade employees in the workforce

College enrollment has dropped off by three million in the last decade, with a drop-off of one million due in the last several years as a direct side effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. This phenomenon clearly does not bode well for the future of the United States’ economy and workforce, with students who attend low-income schools and come from low-income families being the most affected. These changes are disproportionately affecting students from low-income schools and families, the very people who need higher education the most, and are erasing much of the work done in the last decade to help close the income and race gap between students, colleges, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Enrollment in trade schools is skyrocketing.

Recently, trade schools have seen a 40% bump in enrollment across the board. Many students are enticed by the fact that trade schools are affordable and offer a quick turnaround, with students paying $16,000 or less for their program, and their training taking a year or less to complete. Beyond that, those who complete trade school is all but guaranteed a job on graduation day. Their earning potential is often two or even three times higher than the initial cost of attending the program. As many have found, the same cannot always be said about those who pursue a college education.

While the average cost of college at an in-state and public institution hovers at around $28,775 per year (according to Forbes) and takes an average of four years to complete means that trade students have a cheaper educational cost, (between $16,000 to $33,000 for the entire program, or about equal to just one year of a public college tuition) can get work in their field more quickly, and can usually make more than their educational costs in their first year on the job. Tradespeople make an average of $54,000 fresh out of trade school, which rivals the role average college student’s first salary of $55,000. It’s no wonder so many people are choosing to forgo a formal education for trade school!

The almost insurmountable cost of college combined with ever-growing inflation and a lengthy list of requirements just to get a post-college job, all for a low salary and with students having hefty loans to pay back, also play a key role in the downturn in the popularity of college.

The implication of fewer college-educated people, however, means that over time, the United States as a whole could face an economic downturn, as it gives rise to many more blue-collar workers. This can irrevocably alter the makeup of the workforce. Despite current unemployment rates being among the lowest they’ve ever been, the American people are already starting to see a shift in the labor market.

Already, we see a strain in the labor market when 25% of skilled workers in the U.S. exited the workforce following the Covid-19 pandemic. The economy has become so highly specialized that if the U.S. were to keep up the trend of losing college-educated workers, there could irreversible damage to the United States’ economy, deepening the ever-growing divide between the middle class and the working class, further reducing the ability to affect the global economy, knocking the United States out of the classification of a “global superpower.” To make matters worse, much of the United States labor pool is outsourced, and we are seeing the rise of artificial intelligence and robotics taking over many jobs, especially minimum wage jobs. While none of these factors alone vastly affect the U.S. labor market, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

So what can employers do when the makeup of the workforce starts to shift?

Employers could shift the focus on the years of experience rather than the type of education the potential employees have, as well as offering more extensive on-the-job training, which is already commonplace in some industries. Even for those with a college education, the requirements for entry-level jobs seldom match the salary, with many employers requiring a four-year degree, two or more years of experience, and fluency in different programs which vary from company to company. Employers, if possible, need to offer higher salaries with fewer requirements, as many young people are finding the pursuit of college, plus the various other requirements just to be considered for a barely above minimum wage job, while they’re drowning in student debt fruitless, so they forgo college altogether.

A post-pandemic society looks vastly different, and employers must adapt to keep up.

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Economic News

Boomers retirement may be the true reason behind the labor shortage

(ECONOMY) Millennials and Gen Z were quick to be blamed for the labor shortage, citing lazy work ethic- the cause could actually be Boomers retirement.



Older man pictured in cafe with laptop nearby representing boomers retirement discrimination.

In July, we reported on the Great Resignation. With record numbers of resignations, there’s a huge labor shortage in the United States. Although there were many speculations about the reasons why, from “lazy” millennials to the number of deaths from Covid. Just recently, CNN reported that in November another 3.6 million Americans left the labor force. It’s been suggested that the younger generations don’t want to work but retiring Boomers might be the bigger culprit.

Why Boomers are leaving the labor force

CNN Business reports that 90% of the Americans who left the workplace were over 55 years old. It’s now being suggested that many of the people who have left the labor force since the beginning of the pandemic were older Americans, not Millennials or Gen Z, as we originally thought. Here are the reasons why:

  • Boomers are more concerned about catching COVID-19 than their younger counterparts, so they aren’t returning to work. Boomers are less willing to risk their health.
  • The robust real estate market has benefitted Boomers, who have more equity in their homes. Boomers have more options on the table than just returning to work.
  • Employers aren’t creating or posting jobs that lure people out of retirement or those near retirement age.

As Boomers retire, how does this impact the overall labor economy?

According to CNN Business, there are signs that the labor shortage is abating. Employers are starting to see record number of applicants to most posted jobs. FedEx, for example, just got 111,000 applications in one week, the highest it has ever recorded. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the pandemic-induced increase in retirement is only temporary. People who retired due to the risk of the pandemic will return to work as new strategies emerge to reduce the risk to their health. With new varients popping up, we will have to keep an eye on how the trend ultimately plays out.

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Economic News

Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?



NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination

When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”

At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?

The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.

In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…

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