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PENINSULA DAILY NEWS for Wednesday, August 7, 2013 PAGE


Obama pushes housing reforms on Phoenix trip President wants to wind down mortgage giants THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOENIX — Buoyed by an improving housing market, President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a broad overhaul of the nation’s mortgage finance system, including winding down government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He declared that taxpayers should never again be left “holding the bag” for the mortgage giants’ bad bets. Obama outlined his proposals in Phoenix, the once foreclosure-riddled city at the epicenter of the nation’s housing crisis. The housing market in Phoenix, as well as in many other parts of the country, has rebounded robustly, with prices in the southwestern city up 66 percent from the low point in 2011. Despite the nationwide gains, the president said sweeping housing reforms are still needed to ensure that a rejuvenated market doesn’t simply “re-inflate the housing bubble.” The cornerstone of that effort is winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a proposal with bipartisan support in the Senate. “For too long, these companies were allowed to make big profits buying mortgages, knowing that if their bets went bad, taxpayers would be left holding the bag,” Obama told a crowd of more than 2,000 at an area high school. He spoke following a tour of a construction company that has been able to hire hundreds of new workers as a result of the region’s housing comeback. While the president has previously endorsed overhauling Fannie and Freddie, his remarks Tuesday marked


President Barack Obama discusses the economy Tuesday on a stop at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix. the first time he outlined his specific priorities for doing so. The president wants to replace Fannie and Freddie with a system that would put the private sector, not the government, primarily at risk for loans. The government would still be involved, both in oversight and as a last-resort loan guarantor.

Seeking guarantees Obama is also seeking guarantees that a private sector-led mortgage finance system would still ensure wide homeowner access to popular 30-year mortgages at fixed rates. Making light of criticism from Republicans who have cast him as a big-spending liberal, Obama joked that his calls for deeper private sector involvement “must sound confusing to the folks who call me a socialist.” Obama’s mortgage reform priorities are largely in line with a Senate measure shepherded by Republican

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. That legislation would wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac within five years. Once flourishing, Fannie and Freddie were bailed out in 2008 by a $187 billion taxpayer-backed bailout. The two enterprises don’t make loans directly, but buy mortgages from lenders, package them as bonds, guarantee them against default and sell them to investors. The enterprises currently own or guarantee half of all U.S. mortgages and back nearly 90 percent of new ones. Obama’s trip to Phoenix marked the latest stop on a summertime tour aimed at rallying the public around his economic policies ahead of looming budget fights with congressional Republicans this fall. It also was a return to the city he visited just weeks after taking office in 2009 to tout the government’s role in bolstering the housing market.

$ Briefly . . . Estes staffer attends bath, kitchen show SEQUIM — Nell Clausen of Estes Builders recently attended the National Kitchen and Bath industry show in New Orleans. With more than 1,000 exhibitors, the gathering showcased large and small comClausen panies announcing new products and reporting new trends in the kitchen and bath market place. “What I enjoyed most is being able to bring back valuable information to help my clients choose products and design the kitchen of their dreams,” Clausen said. Leading trends include the continued popularity of kitchen islands, drawers instead of cabinets and induction cooking. “The show also confirmed that people are looking for larger showers in their master bath and forgoing tubs, something I was experiencing with my clients and was confirmed by a national study,” Clausen said. “The biggest surprise for me was seeing how far laminate countertops have come in regards to looking like natural countertop surfaces,” she said.

Siding demos PORT ANGELES — Contractors and homeowners are invited to drop in for a free Build-It Tour

Real-time stock quotations at

Demonstration Event Hartnagel Building Supply at 3111 E. U.S. Highway 101, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15. Representatives from CertainTeed will conduct installation demonstrations and providing information on weather-resistant siding that is available in lap siding, individual shakes and shake panels. For more information, phone 360-452-8933.

Gold and silver Gold futures for December delivery fell $19.90, or 1.5 percent, to settle at $1,282.50 an ounce on Tuesday. Silver for September delivery gave up 20 cents to end at $19.52 an ounce. Peninsula Daily News and The Associated Press

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FAST PACED dental office seeking FT front office position. Must be detail oriented and have spectacular phone and computer skills. Medical/Dental office knowledge preferred. Bring in resume to Irwin Dental Center - 620 E. 8th Street. FORD: ‘96 F350 460 cid 4x4 Crew Cab. 114k 5 speed A/C, good tires, m a t c h i n g c a n o p y. $7,850 firm. Call (360)477-6218 PONTIAC: 2001 Bonneville SSEi. Bose Stereo, Heated Power Seats, K e y l e s s E n t r y, F o g Lights, Leather, new battery and tires, A/C, Power Windows, plus much more. Only 74,000 miles. 6,500. (360)452-4867

GARAGE Sale: Saturday only! 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 1231 W. 19th St. in carport off alley between W. 19th and 18th streets. Park on F St. by Lincoln Park woods. Please no parking in alley. Many unique candle holders, gumball machine, electric lawn mower, 2 likenew Nikon film cameras, never-used digital DVD camera, Shar p 5-CD stereo system, Vietnamera trunk, ammunition box, selection of cloth l u g g a g e, m i c r o p h o n e with stand and case, collectibles, do-it-yourself tools, ear rings, many other items. R E V O LV E R : R u g e r Blackhawk single action, blue, 6.5” barrel 357/38/ 9mm with ancillary i t e m s. S H T F t o o l fo r Preppers. $650. (360)457-1597

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HUGE ESTATE SALE Dining set, down sofa, roll top desk, mid-centur y moder n chairs, a r t wo r k , A s i a n c o l lectibles, many lovely treasures waiting for you. 120 Montgomery Court, off Bay Road. Port Ludlow. Aug. 10, 8-2 p.m. JEEP: 01 Red Cherokee. 4WD, 4 door, well maintained, garaged, electr ic ever ything, 136,000 mi., runs great. $4,800. 928-9988.

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