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The 2008 federal intervention to stabilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

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  • W. Scott Frame

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2009-13
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    File URL: http://www.frbatlanta.org/filelegacydocs/wp0913.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 337-363, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Foote, Christopher L. & Gerardi, Kristopher & Willen, Paul S., 2008. "Negative equity and foreclosure: Theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 234-245, September.
    4. Robert Eisenbeis & W. Frame & Larry Wall, 2007. "An Analysis of the Systemic Risks Posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and An Evaluation of the Policy Options for Reducing Those Risks," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 31(2), pages 75-99, June.
    5. 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 151-172, Sept.-Dec.
    6. 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 215-242, Sept.-Dec.
    7. 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, September.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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 129-150, Sept.-Dec.
    11. 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.
    12. 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, September.
    13. 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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    Cited by:

    1. John V. Duca & John Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2011. "House Prices and Credit Constraints: Making Sense of the US Experience," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 533-551, May.
    2. John V. Duca & John N. Muellbauer & Anthony Murphy, 2011. "Shifting credit standards and the boom and bust in U.S. house prices," Working Papers 1104, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

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    Keywords

    Government-sponsored enterprises ; Mortgage loans;

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