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New Regulator On The Block
It’s not easy to manage a new regulatory agency, particularly when the job involves overseeing the "prudential operations" of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Home Loan Banks.

The newly-established Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has extensive authority to ensure that the Government Sponsored Enterprises "operate in a safe and sound manner, including maintenance of adequate capital and internal controls" and also to ensure that the GSEs "foster liquid, efficient, competitive, and resilient national housing finance markets...."

Fortunately, the FHFA has the "good government" laws to guide their drafting of regulations and reports. Specifically, the FHFA will need to adhere to the Paperwork Reduction Act and to the Data Quality which sets standards for the quality of virtually all data used and disseminated by the Agency. The DQA also provides an administrative mechanism by which affected parties can "seek and obtain" correction of virtually all information, including third-party data, maintained and disseminated by the Agency.

Congress has promised that the FHFA will be a "world class regulator" which means the Agency will need to make their decisions based on world class quality data. Nothing less than high quality data will suffice, or even be acceptable.

One of FHFA’s start-up tasks will be to draft, and provide for public comment, their own set of Data Quality implementing guidelines. Even before such guidelines are finalized, however, the FHFA will be bound by the requirements of the DQA and by OMB’s government-wide guidelines.

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