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Defragmenting Markets: Evidence from Agency MBS

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Abstract

Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have historically traded in separate forward markets. We study the consequences of this fragmentation, showing that market liquidity endogenously concentrated in Fannie Mae MBS, leading to higher issuance and trading volume, lower transaction costs, higher security prices, and a higher rate of return on securitization for Fannie Mae. We then analyze a change in market design – the Single Security Initiative – which consolidated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac MBS trading into a single market in June 2019. We find that consolidation increased the liquidity and prices of Freddie Mac MBS without measurably reducing liquidity for Fannie Mae; this was in part achieved by aligning characteristics of the underlying MBS pools issued by the two agencies. Prices partially converged prior to the consolidation event, in anticipation of future liquidity. Consolidation increased Freddie Mac’s fee income by enabling it to remove discounts that previously compensated loan sellers for lower liquidity

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  • Haoyang Liu & Zhaogang Song & James Vickery, 2021. "Defragmenting Markets: Evidence from Agency MBS," Working Papers 21-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:92849
    DOI: 10.21799/frbp.wp.2021.25
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    1. Haoyang Liu & Zhaogang Song & James Vickery, 2021. "Defragmenting Markets: Evidence from Agency MBS," Working Papers 21-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    MBS; TBA; Single Security Initiative; UMBS; liquidity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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