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Rep. Baker Subcommittee to Probe Fannie Mae Earnings Restatement

February 2, 2005

The Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises, chaired by Rep. Richard H. Baker (LA) will convene on Wednesday, February 9, at 10 a.m. in room 2128 of the Rayburn House Office Building. 

The members will hear testimony and question the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) chief accountant regarding his recent decision that Fannie Mae violated accounting rules. The SEC opinion followed a special examination by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight and led to management changes. The opinion included a recommendation for an earnings restatement, which has been estimated at $9 billion by Fannie Mae.

“This hearing represents the first chance for members of Congress to explore the nature and severity of the Fannie Mae violations since the SEC made a determination about the company’s accounting practices,” said Baker. “If we’re going to move forward with a solution for the inadequate supervision of the housing GSEs, and we will, it’s essential for us to admit that there’s a problem in the first place and to examine fully the sources and consequences of the problem.”

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley (OH) has pledged to continue his work toward a legislative reform package this Congress. He said, “With any accounting or corporate governance problem, it’s important to discover the issues early and to address them directly. In the Fannie Mae case, it took a special examination, a supplemental appropriation, outside accounting consultants, and the SEC to finally determine that there were accounting violations. A world-class regulator would have determined this quickly. We want to build a regulator with the power, independence, and funding to confront and to handle such matters.”

Scheduled to testify:

  • Donald T. Nicolaisen, Chief Accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission

Source: House Financial Services Committee

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