Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac intend to win back some of the market share they have ceded to private-label conduits while laboring through their respective accounting scandals.A large part of how well the two government-sponsored enterprises will be able to duke it out with totally private entities remains to be seen, as lawmakers continue to argue whether the agencies need a new regulator and under what kind of rules they will have to operate. But whatever happens on Capitol Hill, Freddie Mac chairman Richard Syron told the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual convention in Chicago that his company is "determined to be as competitive as it can be." Mr. Syron said that for the last several years, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have "been in the penalty box" and have been playing mostly defense. Private-label issuers now control an estimated 55%-60% of the mortgage-backed securities market. Fannie Mae chairman Daniel Mudd conceded that his company hasn't been innovative enough, especially while it has been dealing with its accounting irregularities. The company has also been too slow and bureaucratic, he said. But while Fannie has "been working to get our house in order," the company has also been "rethinking a lot of things, including how we do business," Mr. Mudd said. Both executives maintained that their respective companies were designed for the turbulent and changing market that lies ahead.

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