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Monday, March 21, 2011

Two Stories: Treasury to Begin Selling MBS Portfolio, Federal Reserve to Release Discount Window Borrowing

by Calculated Risk on 3/21/2011 06:08:00 PM

A couple of stories ...
• From Treasury: Treasury to Begin Orderly Wind Down of Its $142 Billion Mortgage-Backed Securities Portfolio

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it will begin the orderly wind down of its remaining portfolio of $142 billion in agency-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Starting this month, Treasury plans to sell up to $10 billion in agency-guaranteed MBS per month, subject to market conditions.

“We’re continuing to wind down the emergency programs that were put in place in 2008 and 2009 to help restore market stability, and the sale of these securities is consistent with that effort,” said Mary J. Miller, Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets.
I don't think this will have much impact on mortgage rates.

• From Bloomberg: Fed Must Release Data on Emergency Bank Loans as High Court Rejects Appeal
The Federal Reserve will disclose details of emergency loans it made to banks in 2008, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an industry appeal that aimed to shield the records from public view.

The justices today left intact a court order that gives the Fed five days to release the records, sought by Bloomberg News’s parent company, Bloomberg LP
There was probably heavy borrowing by - shock - Citi, BofA and most other big banks. This ruling is for discount window lending, and the Dodd-Frank bill required the Fed to disclose this information with a two year lag - so I'm not sure why the Fed objected. The Fed has already released data on the emergency Credit and Liquidity Facilities. There were no surprises. I support transparency, but I doubt there will be any surprises with the discount window data either.