Chip pointed out this article at the Mises Institute on the CMHC. How bad does the author think it is? Pretty bad:
The Canadian mortgage market is dominated by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and this government-owned company operates in much the same way as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The CMHC insures and guarantees mortgages as well as buys mortgages from banks in order to issue mortgage-backed securities that trade in the secondary market. In comparison to Fannie Mae though, the prognosis of the CMHC is notably worse. For instance, at the height of the housing boom in 2007 Fannie Mae had guaranteed over $2.3 trillion in mortgages, nearly a quarter of the market. As of 2009 the CMHC guaranteed over $900 billion in mortgages, about 90% of the market. Fannie Mae had approximately $44 billion in net assets to cover those guarantees, giving them a leverage ratio of about 50:1. The CMHC has about $9 billion in net assets to cover theirs, with the ratio working out to a staggering 100:1. To make matters even worse, 74% of the CMHC’s assets are invested in those very same mortgage-backed securities. If the Canadian housing market ever took a dive the CMHC would be bankrupt in the blink of an eye.
Are the new measures to undo the old measures and scale back CMHC exposure too little too late? Check out the full article here for the analysis.