SPECIAL REPORT: MBA Sees No Easy Solutions to Credit Crisis

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor San Diego–The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) opened its 2009 commercial real estate and multifamily finance conference with acknowledgment of the serious difficulties facing the industry and a focus on solutions.  John Courson, MBA president and CEO likened the industry to the woman held screaming in King Kong’s hand. “Yes, we are screaming for help. The question is how do we silence that scream?” Courson said the industry needed to restore investor faith in the business and liquidity in the marketplace.  David Kittle, MBA chairman and executive vice president of Vision Mortgage Capital LLC, said that the search for solutions to restoring the capital markets will be strong in 2009. He said there are no easy solutions to the complex crisis, but that the industry must implement new ideas now and be a part of the change. He said legislators and regulators have been “truly open” to suggestions and have called on MBA for its advice.  The MBA has proposed, for example, that some of the government bailout money be used to buy Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities at prices that are high enough to lower yields.  It has also organized a summit late last year to come up with various models for the secondary market of the future that could emerge from the crisis.(Also, click here to read our sister publication, CPN’s coverage of the MBA conference)