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The 2008 federal intervention to stabilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

  • W. Scott Frame

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises that play a central role in U.S. residential mortgage markets. In recent years, policymakers became increasingly concerned about the size and risk-taking incentives of these two institutions. In September 2008, the federal government intervened to stabilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in an effort to ensure the reliability of residential mortgage finance in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis. This paper describes the sources of financial distress at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, outlines the measures taken by the federal government, and presents some evidence about the effectiveness of these actions. Looking ahead, policymakers will need to consider the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the appropriate scope of public sector activities in primary and secondary mortgage markets.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper with number 2009-13.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2009-13
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  1. Brent W. Ambrose & Michael LaCour-Little & Anthony B. Sanders, 2004. "The Effect of Conforming Loan Status on Mortgage Yield Spreads: A Loan Level Analysis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 541-569, December.
  2. 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.
  3. W. Scott Frame & Lawrence J. White, 2005. "Fussing and Fuming over Fannie and Freddie: How Much Smoke, How Much Fire?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 159-184, Spring.
  4. Wayne Passmore, 2005. "The GSE implicit subsidy and the value of government ambiguity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Passmore, Wayne & Sparks, Roger & Ingpen, Jamie, 2002. "GSEs, Mortgage Rates, and the Long-Run Effects of Mortgage Securitization," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2-3), pages 215-42, Sept.-Dec.
  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. Christopher L. Foote & Kristopher S. Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: theory and evidence," Public Policy Discussion Paper 08-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  8. 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.).
  9. W. Scott Frame & Larry D. Wall, 2002. "Financing housing through government-sponsored enterprises," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 29-43.
  10. 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.
  11. Heuson, Andrea & Passmore, Wayne & Sparks, Roger, 2001. "Credit Scoring and Mortgage Securitization: Implications for Mortgage Rates and Credit Availability," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 337-63, November.
  12. Wayne Passmore, 2005. "The GSE Implicit Subsidy and the Value of Government Ambiguity," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 465-486, 09.
  13. 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.
  14. McKenzie, Joseph A, 2002. "A Reconsideration of the Jumbo/Non-jumbo Mortgage Rate Differential," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2-3), pages 197-213, Sept.-Dec.
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