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The Federal Home Loan Bank System: the lender of next-to-last resort?

Author

Listed:
  • Adam B. Ashcraft
  • Morten L. Bech
  • W. Scott Frame

Abstract

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System is a large, complex, and understudied government-sponsored liquidity facility that currently has more than $1 trillion in secured loans outstanding, mostly to commercial banks and thrifts. In this paper, we document the significant role played by the FHLB System at the onset of the ongoing financial crises and then provide evidence on the uses of these funds by the System's bank and thrift members. Next, we identify the trade-offs faced by member-borrowers when choosing between accessing the FHLB System or the Federal Reserve's Discount Window during the crisis period. We conclude by describing the fragmented U.S. lender-of-last-resort framework and finding that additional clarity about the respective roles of the various liquidity facilities would be helpful.

Suggested Citation

  • Adam B. Ashcraft & Morten L. Bech & W. Scott Frame, 2008. "The Federal Home Loan Bank System: the lender of next-to-last resort?," Staff Reports 357, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:357
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Olivier Armantier & Sandra C. Krieger & James J. McAndrews, 2008. "The Federal Reserve's Term Auction Facility," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 14(Jul).
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    3. repec:eee:jbfina:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:135-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Stojanovic, Dusan & Vaughan, Mark D. & Yeager, Timothy J., 2008. "Do Federal Home Loan Bank membership and advances increase bank risk-taking?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 680-698, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Philip E. Strahan & Evan Gatev & Til Schuermann, 2004. "How do Banks Manage Liquidity Risk? Evidence from Equity and Deposit Markets in the Fall of 1998," NBER Working Papers 10982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. McAndrews, James & Sarkar, Asani & Wang, Zhenyu, 2017. "The effect of the term auction facility on the London interbank offered rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 135-152.
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    Keywords

    Federal home loan banks ; Discount window ; Liquidity (Economics) ; Financial crises;

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