Did the Federal Reserve's MBS purchase program lower mortgage rates?
On November 25, 2008, the Federal Reserve announced it would purchase mortgage-backed securities (MBS). This program affected mortgage rates through three channels: (1) improved market functioning in both primary and secondary mortgage markets, (2) clearer government backing for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and (3) anticipation of portfolio rebalancing effects. We use empirical pricing models for MBS yields and for mortgage rates to measure relative importance of channels: The first two were important during the height of the financial crisis, but the effects of the third depended on market conditions. Overall, the program put significant downward pressure on mortgage rates.
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- Andreas Fuster & Paul S. Willen, 2010. "$1.25 Trillion is still real money : some facts about the effects of the Federal Reserve’s mortgage market investments," Public Policy Discussion Paper 10-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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- Diana Hancock & Wayne Passmore, 2011. "Did the Federal Reserve's MBS purchase program lower mortgage rates?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-01, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Diana Hancock & Wayne Passmore, 2010. "An analysis of government guarantees and the functioning of asset-backed securities markets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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