North Carolina Commissioner of the Banks Joseph A. Smith Jr. will be nominated for the position of director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) by President Obama, Bloomberg reported Friday morning. The news service, citing unnamed White House officials, says the nomination could come as early as today.
Smith, who would replace current Acting Director Edward DeMarco, would likely be a pivotal player in discussions of housing-finance reform. The Obama administration has promised to deliver its proposals for making over government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this January.
A former legislative committee chairman for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Smith became North Carolina's bank commissioner in 2002. Prior to that, he was general counsel and secretary for Centura Banks Inc.
In a speech before the University of North Carolina Banking Institute this past March, Smith said that the damage done to nonbanks' originate-and-distribute model of business has ‘put banks in a good position to reclaim a substantial share of residential mortgage originations.’ He also stated that clearing the inventory of unsold and foreclosed homes will require the making of nonconforming loans, including jumbo loans and restructured loans for low- and moderate-income borrowers.
‘Such activity will require enhanced risk management and pricing to reflect risk and the cost of capital allocated to it,’ Smith said.