Federal Housing Chief Holds Banks to Account

The beleaguered chief of the Federal Housing Finance Agency was ahead of the crowd in Washington in his effort to hold the big banks accountable for their pre-crisis abuses.

Two years ago, the Federal Housing Finance Agency sued 18 banks for losses on $200 billion in private-label mortgage bonds purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That strategy is now paying off. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is negotiating a $13 billionsettlement with the U.S. government that would feature a $4 billion payment to the FHFA. Today, Bloomberg News reports that Bank of America Corp. might pay the FHFA at least $6 billion for dodgy bonds issued before the crisis.

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