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Adjustable-rate mortgages and the Libor surprise


  • Mark E. Schweitzer
  • Guhan Venkatu


Adjustable-rate mortgages have typically been tied to either of two indexes, one based on U.S. treasuries, the other on the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. The index is used to determine a mortgage’s new interest rate when it is reset, and up until recently, the choice would have made little difference. But since 2007, the rates on which the indexes are based have diverged sharply, and borrowers with Libor-based adjustable-rate mortgages are likely to pay more than they would have had their mortgages been tied to treasuries. Moreover, the proportion of Libor-based ARMs has increased significantly, especially for subprime loans.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark E. Schweitzer & Guhan Venkatu, 2009. "Adjustable-rate mortgages and the Libor surprise," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jan.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcec:y:2009:i:jan

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2002. "School Choice and School Productivity (or Could School Choice be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?)," NBER Working Papers 8873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G. & Branch, Gregory F., 2007. "Charter school quality and parental decision making with school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 823-848, June.
    3. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 2003. "School Choice and School Productivity. Could School Choice Be a Tide that Lifts All Boats?," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 287-342 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lawrence Kreicher & Robert N McCauley & Philip Wooldridge, 2014. "Benchmark tipping in the global bond market," BIS Working Papers 466, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Phillip Swagel, 2009. "The Financial Crisis: An Inside View," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(1 (Spring), pages 1-78.

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    Adjustable rate mortgages ; Interest rates;


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