Summary: Currently working as an AEI Housing Center Senior Fellow, Edward Pinto leverages his experience in the housing industry since the 1970s, including his time as Executive VP and Chief Credit Officer at Fannie Mae in the late 1980s, to relate a wealth of knowledge, anecdotes, and perspectives in this oral history. Pinto points to the role of federal affordable housing policies in the lead up to the crisis as a major cause of the ultimate crash. He also gives an insider view on the trajectory of GSEs since the early 1980s, and the dynamic between GSEs and the evolving ecosystem of other market players and pressures. In his analysis, Pinto contends that GSEs led the way to the loosening of credit standards and the marketing of riskier mortgage products, compelling private mortgage lenders to follow suit. He expounds that such loose credit standards led to mismatches between demand and supply in housing markets, leading to cyclical pricing. His largest takeaway: “we need to get out of that cyclicality” and learn how to prevent it.
Biography: Edward Pinto is currently a resident fellow and the Director of the AEI Housing Center at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). In his role at the AEI Housing Center, Pinto has studied the role of federal housing policy in the 2008 financial and mortgage crisis. His writings have often been published in the press, and Pinto has testified multiple times before Congress. Previous to joining AEI, he served as an Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer at Fannie Mae from 1987-1989 and then spent more than two decades as a consultant to the mortgage sector. Before Fannie Mae, Pinto also worked within the Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) as Senior Legal Counsel. Prior to that, Pinto worked as General Counsel at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Pinto holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.