Controlling the Interest Rate Risk of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Networks Financial Institute Policy Brief, No. 2006-PB-04, April 2006
41 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2006
It is now widely recognized that the interest rate risks embedded in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (F&F) retained mortgage portfolios create a serious threat to the US financial system. This paper evaluates proposals to control the interest rate risk embedded in these portfolios. The analysis focuses on the current proposal to limit the size of the F&F retained portfolios, but also considers alternative means to control this interest rate risk. The analysis takes into account (1) what fund sources would replace F&F as mortgage investors, (2) where will the interest rate risk reside after it is removed from the F&F portfolios, and (3) what is the likely impact of the change on US mortgage interest rates. The conclusion is to endorse several solutions, including size limitations on the F&F retained portfolios, each of which would reduce or eliminate the F&F interest rate risk that currently threatens the US financial system.
Keywords: government sponsored enterprises, interest rate risk, government sponsored enterprises regulation
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