Housing Assistance: An Inventory of Fiscal Year 2010 Programs, Tax Expenditures, and Other Activities

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program

Administering Agency/Entity Federal Reserve System
Short Description In November 2008, the Federal Open Market Committee, a nonregulatory component of the Federal Reserve System, authorized the Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program to provide support to the housing market and the broader economy. Its authorization did not require a determination that emergency conditions existed. Through the program, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York purchased mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or guaranteed by Ginnie Mae. The purchases were intended to lower long-term interest rates for mortgages and thereby support the housing market and other financial markets more generally. The Federal Reserve Bank hired investment managers to provide execution support and advisory services needed to help execute large-scale purchases.
Primary Purpose Emergency assistance to housing market or current homeowner
Type of Housing Supported Homeownership
Type of Assistance Other
Fiscal Year 2010 Obligations Purchases of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae in fiscal year 2010 were valued at $346.1 billion. The GSEs guarantee principal and interest on these securities, but the Federal Reserve could incur market value losses if the securities are sold prior to their maturity.

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