Freddie Mac chairman Richard Syron is warning legislators not to hamstring his mortgage company at a time when the subprime market is going through a sharp correction and the need for the housing government-sponsored enterprises will only increase.Legislative proposals that impose higher capital requirements, limit retained portfolios, and restrict new products and programs will make Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "less competitive, less profitable and less relevant," Mr. Syron told the National Association of Home Builders convention. "All of which begs the question, why overly hamper us just when you're going to need us most?" he said. Fannie chairman Daniel Mudd also spoke in harsh terms about the effort to squeeze the GSEs, telling the NAHB's executive board that he and his counterpart at Freddie ought to be able to run their businesses successfully. The GSEs should be placed under the wing of a strong regulator, Mr. Mudd said, but that should be the end of it, and the regulator should be allowed to regulate. "If it's not right," he said, "the regulator will say so." The House and Senate banking committees are expected to mark up and vote on a GSE regulatory reform bill before the end of March. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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