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The Federal Home Loan Bank System: the lender of next-to-last resort?

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  • Adam Ashcraft
  • Morten L. Bech
  • W. Scott Frame

Abstract

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System is a large, complex, and understudied government-sponsored liquidity facility that currently has more than $1 trillion in secured loans outstanding, mostly to commercial banks and thrifts. This paper first documents the significant role played by the FHLB System at the outset of the ongoing financial crisis and then provides evidence about the uses of these funds by their bank and thrift members. We then identify the trade-offs faced by FHLB member-borrowers when choosing between accessing the FHLB System or the Federal Reserve's discount window during the crisis. We conclude by describing the fragmented U.S. lender-of-last-resort framework and finding that additional clarity about the respective roles of the various liquidity facilities would be helpful.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2009-04.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2009-04

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Keywords: Federal home loan banks ; Lenders of last resort;

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References

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  1. Wayne Passmore & Shane M. Sherlund & Gillian Burgess, 2005. "The effect of housing government-sponsored enterprises on mortgage rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. John B. Taylor & John C. Williams, 2008. "A Black Swan in the Money Market," NBER Working Papers 13943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. W. Scott Frame & Diana Hancock & Wayne Passmore, 2007. "Federal Home Loan Bank advances and commercial bank portfolio composition," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Philip E. Strahan & Evan Gatev & Til Schuermann, 2004. "How do Banks Manage Liquidity Risk? Evidence from Equity and Deposit Markets in the Fall of 1998," NBER Working Papers 10982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. James McAndrews & Asani Sarkar & Zhenyu Wang, 2008. "The effect of the Term Auction Facility on the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate," Staff Reports 335, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Ambrose, Brent W & Warga, Arthur, 2002. "Measuring Potential GSE Funding Advantages," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2-3), pages 129-50, Sept.-Dec.
  7. Mark J. Flannery & W. Scott Frame, 2006. "The Federal Home Loan Bank system : the "other" housing GSE," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 3, pages 33-54.
  8. Wayne Passmore & Shane M. Sherlund & Gillian Burgess, 2005. "The Effect of Housing Government-Sponsored Enterprises on Mortgage Rates," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 427-463, 09.
  9. Stojanovic, Dusan & Vaughan, Mark D. & Yeager, Timothy J., 2008. "Do Federal Home Loan Bank membership and advances increase bank risk-taking?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 680-698, May.
  10. Olivier Armantier & Sandra Krieger & James McAndrews, 2008. "The Federal Reserve's Term Auction Facility," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 14(Jul).
  11. Nothaft, Frank E & Pearce, James E & Stevanovic, Stevan, 2002. "Debt Spreads between GSEs and Other Corporations," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2-3), pages 151-72, Sept.-Dec.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Larry D. Wall, 2010. "Prudential Discipline for Financial Firms: Micro, Macro, and Market Structures," Working Papers id:3040, eSocialSciences.
  2. Cassola, Nuno & Hortacsu, Ali & Kastl, Jakub, 2011. "The 2007 subprime market crisis through the lens of European Central Bank auctions for short-term funds," Working Paper Series 1374, European Central Bank.
  3. Atanasov, Vladimir & Merrick, John, 2011. "Financial asset demand is elastic: Evidence from new issues of Federal Home Loan Bank debt," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 3225-3239.
  4. Gary B. Gorton & Andrew Metrick, 2013. "The Federal Reserve and Financial Regulation: The First Hundred Years," NBER Working Papers 19292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Viral V. Acharya & Gara Afonso & Anna Kovner, 2013. "How do global banks scramble for liquidity? Evidence from the asset-backed commercial paper freeze of 2007," Staff Reports 623, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Spence Hilton & James McAndrews, 2011. "Challenges and lessons of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy operations during the financial crisis," Chapters, European Central Bank.
  7. Huberto M. Ennis & Alexander L. Wolman, 2012. "Large excess reserves in the U.S.: a view from the cross-section of banks," Working Paper 12-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  8. Arnoldo LOpez Marmolejo & Fabrizio Lopez-Gallo, 2010. "Public and Private Liquidity Providers," Working Papers 1015, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
  9. Lawrence J. White & W. Scott Frame, 2009. "The Federal Home Loan Bank System: Current Issues in Perspective," Working Papers 09-18, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Gary Gorton & Andrew Metrick, 2013. "The Federal Reserve and Panic Prevention: The Roles of Financial Regulation and Lender of Last Resort," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
  11. Robert L. Hetzel, 2009. "Should increased regulation of bank risk-taking come from regulators or from the market?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 161-200.

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