FRB

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July 28, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Trends

Strategist Expects Fed Reinvestment to Continue

The Federal Reserve’s effort to normalize its balance sheet later this year would cause no significant falloff in the agency mortgage-backed securities market over the next six to 12 months, according to global investment firm Loomis Sayles. In an analysis, the firm concluded that agency MBS remain attractive for now with modest excess returns for agency MBS versus Treasurys. “We favor a modest overweight agency MBS stance versus Treasurys for the remainder of 2017 and ...


July 28, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fed Holds Rates Steady, Signals It Will Begin Unloading Massive Portfolio Sometime ‘Soon’

With inflation weakening and continuing to lag behind the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee’s 2 percent target, the Fed this week surprised no one and unanimously decided to leave the federal funds target rate unchanged at 1.00 percent to 1.25 percent. The U.S. central bank also indicated it will likely begin to gradually unload its enormous balance sheet “relatively soon,” which market participants and observers read as sometime this fall – probably with an announcement in September, with run-off set to begin in October. In terms of its portfolio, the FOMC said...


July 27, 2017 - Inside Mortgage Finance

CFPB to Propose Substantive Changes to its Mortgage Servicing Rule, Latest Agenda Reveals

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to make some significant, but as yet unspecified, changes to its mortgage servicing rule sometime this fall, in response to concerns raised by the industry, the bureau revealed in a blog posting about its latest semiannual rulemaking agenda. The agency said it is “considering concerns raised by industry participants regarding a few substantive aspects of the mortgage servicing rule that we used in August 2016. These aspects may be posing particular complexities for implementation that were not anticipated in the course of the original rulemaking. We expect to issue a proposal to make one or more substantive changes to the rule in response to these concerns this fall – perhaps as early as September.” Edward Mills, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets & Co., said...


July 14, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

ABS Investors May Turn to ‘Moneyball’ Tactics With the Fed Expected to Increase Interest Rates

ABS investors could see strong returns by employing the “Moneyball” strategy pioneered in Major League Baseball by the Oakland Athletics, according to analysts at Wells Fargo Securities. The strategy, detailed in a book and movie, focuses on certain statistics that managers of the Athletics thought were undervalued by other teams. Wells said the theory can be adapted to the ABS market, with an emphasis on deals that can reliably hit “singles” instead of potentially risky investments that aim for home runs. “With interest rates low and ABS spreads reasonably tight, many market participants are...


July 14, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

MBS Trading Volume Increased in June, But Concerns Remain About Supply and What the Fed Might Do

The average daily trading volume of agency MBS reached $209.9 billion in June, the second highest reading of the year and a sign that liquidity is picking up, according to figures compiled by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. The increase in trading comes despite the fact that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae issued a total of $317.7 billion of new MBS in the second quarter, a 6.1 percent decline from the first quarter. For the six-month period, 2017 holds the edge with volume up 3.5 percent. But it hasn’t been...


July 14, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Yellen Affirms Fed Balance Sheet Reduction to Start This Year, Analysts Try to Anticipate Market Impact

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee is moving closer to beginning what is likely to be a long and drawn-out process to gradually and predictably unwind the U.S. central bank’s huge portfolio of agency MBS and debt – the sooner, the better, according to Fed chief Janet Yellen. “The FOMC intends to gradually reduce the Federal Reserve’s securities holdings by decreasing its reinvestment of the principal payments it receives from the securities held in the System Open Market Account,” she said this week in her semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony on monetary policy to members of Congress. “Specifically, such payments will be reinvested...


July 7, 2017 - Inside MBS & ABS

Fed Governor Views Housing-Finance Reform as ‘Now or Never,’ Opposes Reliance on a Duopoly

Federal Reserve Governor Jay Powell urged lawmakers to figure out a solution to the extended conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, noting that a healthy economy and the risk to taxpayers make now an ideal time to act. In a speech this week at the American Enterprise Institute, Powell noted that the two government-sponsored enterprises are now in their ninth year of conservatorship. He worries that if reform doesn’t happen soon it may not happen at all. Powell said any change would be more challenging to enact during difficult economic times. “The risk that we settle into this current situation for the long run is...


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