A Narrative Analysis of Mortgage Asset Purchases by Federal Agencies

164 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2017

See all articles by Andrew Fieldhouse

Andrew Fieldhouse

Cornell University - Department of Economics

Karel Mertens

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Date Written: February 2017

Abstract

This paper provides a narrative analysis of regulatory policy changes affecting the purchases and holdings of mortgages and related securities of five US government entities over the 1968–2014 period. We focus on federal government policies that aim to influence the allocation and/or supply of residential mortgage credit. We use contemporary primary sources and various institutional histories to identify significant policy interventions, to document their economic and regulatory context, surrounding motives, and pertinent timing, as well as to quantify projected impacts on agencies’ mortgage holdings. Finally, we classify each significant policy change as either ‘cyclically motivated’ or ‘non-cyclically motivated.’ The results of the narrative analysis of federal housing credit policy changes yield a record of events that can be used as an instrumental variable for agency purchase activity.

Suggested Citation

Fieldhouse, Andrew and Mertens, Karel, A Narrative Analysis of Mortgage Asset Purchases by Federal Agencies (February 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23165, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2915993

Andrew Fieldhouse (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States

Karel Mertens

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ( email )

2200 North Pearl Street
PO Box 655906
Dallas, TX 75265-5906
United States

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