Daniel Mudd, the president and CEO of Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. buyer and guarantor of home mortgages, had discouraging words on Friday for shareholders: “This is the worst housing and mortgage market in recent memory, and we are still working our way to the bottom, in our view.”
Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln? OK, we kid. But it hasn’t been a good year for the housing market in general, and the outlook – at least in the near future – appears worse.
Certainly, anyone who peruses the pages of the local business section could tell you that 2007 has been a harsh – in some cases, nearly catastrophic – one for prospective home buyers, with rising interest rates and foreclosures now the norm. But, perhaps if only generated by the optimism of everyone affected by the crisis, the outlook could in no way be MORE grim … could it?
Well, Mudd pegged 2009 as “the earliest” that the housing market could recover from its current downward spiral.
The meeting was not without its conflict, though; activist Evelyn Y. Davis, an investor who was at the meeting, called for Mudd to be replaced by Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who has been on Fannie’s board since the spring.
All 12 Fannie directors were re-elected, nonetheless.