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The failure of supervisory stress testing: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and OFHEO
Stress testing has recently become a critical risk management and capital planning tool for large financial institutions and their supervisors around the world. However, the one prior U.S. experience tying stress test results to capital requirements was a spectacular failure: the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's (OFHEO) risk-based capital stress test for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We study a key component of OFHEO's model?30-year fixed-rate mortgage performance?and find two key problems. First, OFHEO had left the model specification and associated parameters static for the ...
The federal home loan bank system and U.S. housing finance
This paper examines the role of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System in the U.S. housing finance system. This cooperatively owned government-sponsored enterprise has changed markedly over the past 25 years as a result of membership liberalization and the demise of thrift institutions. Today, despite its name, size, and principal activities, the FHLB System actually provides little targeted support to the housing sector. Instead, recent research highlights the role of the FHLB System as a provider of subsidized general liquidity to its members, including the very largest commercial banking ...
The Failure of supervisory stress testing: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and OFHEO
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, policymakers in the United States and elsewhere have adopted stress testing as a central tool for supervising large, complex, financial institutions and promoting financial stability. Although supervisory stress testing may confer substantial benefits, such tests are vulnerable to model risk. This paper studies the risk-based capital stress test conducted by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that are central to the U.S. housing finance ...