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An analysis of the systemic risks posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and an evaluation of the policy options for reducing those risks

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  • Robert A. Eisenbeis
  • W. Scott Frame
  • Larry D. Wall

Abstract

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises that are central players in U.S. secondary mortgage markets. Over the past decade, these institutions have amassed enormous mortgage- and non-mortgage-oriented investment portfolios that pose significant interest-rate risks to the companies and a systemic risk to the financial system. This paper describes the nature of these risks and systemic concerns and then evaluates several policy options for reducing the institutions? investment portfolios. We conclude that limits on portfolio size (assets or liabilities) would be the most desirable approach to mitigating the systemic risk posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert A. Eisenbeis & W. Scott Frame & Larry D. Wall, 2006. "An analysis of the systemic risks posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and an evaluation of the policy options for reducing those risks," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kenc, Turalay & Dibooglu, Sel, 2010. "The 2007-2009 financial crisis, global imbalances and capital flows: Implications for reform," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 3-21, March.
    2. W. Scott Frame & Diana Hancock & Wayne Passmore, 2012. "Federal Home Loan Bank Advances and Commercial Bank Portfolio Composition," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(4), pages 661-684, June.
    3. W. Scott Frame & Andreas Fuster & Joseph Tracy & James Vickery, 2015. "The Rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 25-52, Spring.
    4. W. Scott Frame & Eva Steiner, 2022. "Quantitative easing and agency MBS investment and financing choices by mortgage REITs," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 50(4), pages 931-965, December.
    5. W. Scott Frame & Larry D. Wall & Lawrence J. White, 2012. "The devil's in the tail: residential mortgage finance and the U.S. Treasury," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2012-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    6. Rice, Tara & Rose, Jonathan, 2016. "When good investments go bad: The contraction in community bank lending after the 2008 GSE takeover," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 68-88.
    7. Robert A. Eisenbeis, 2009. "What We Have Learned and Not Learned from the Current Crisis about Financial Reform," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 42(4), pages 457-469, December.
    8. Patrick Honohan, 2009. "Bank Failures: The Limitations of Risk Modeling," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Douglas D Evanoff & Philipp Hartmann & George G Kaufman (ed.), The First Credit Market Turmoil Of The 21st Century Implications for Public Policy, chapter 8, pages 103-123, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    9. Tara N. Rice & Jonathan D. Rose, 2012. "When good investments go bad: the contraction in community bank lending after the 2008 GSE takeover," International Finance Discussion Papers 1045, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Robert A. Eisenbeis & George G. Kaufman, 2016. "Not All Financial Crises Are Alike!," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 44(1), pages 1-31, March.
    11. W. Scott Frame, 2009. "The 2008 federal intervention to stabilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

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    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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