Financial Markets and Institutions:

Capital Structure of the Federal Home Loan Bank System

GGD-99-177R: Published: Aug 31, 1999. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1999.

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Thomas J. McCool
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the capital structure of the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

GAO noted that: (1) GAO has consistently supported the establishment of risk-based capital standards applied in combination with a leverage ratio that requires a minimum capital-to-asset ratio for the System; (2) a risk-based capital standard offers a number of benefits that include giving the government a mechanism to influence the System's risk-taking without involving itself in the System's daily business; (3) in supporting the establishment of risk-based capital standards, GAO has recommended that System capital should be made more permanent; and (4) there are a number of ways this could be achieved, including increasing the time period for repayment after terminating membership or establishing capital requirements that provide for minimum retained earnings in each Federal Home Loan Bank.

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