Fed's MBS Purchases Up from Last Week
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said late Thursday it had purchased another $47.3 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities this week from government-sponsored entities Freddie Mac (FRE), Fannie Mae (FNM) and Ginnie Mae. For the week ending March 25, the Fed purchased, net of $14.1 billion in coupon sales, $33.2 in agency MBS. The Fed bought $13.45 billion from Freddie's books, $32.55 billion from Fannie and $1.25 billion off Ginnie's books this week. Thirty-year 4 percent coupons were the most popular item purchased at $19.7 billion from all agencies, followed by 30-year 4.5s at $12.5 billion. Meanwhile, the Fed also sold $14.1 billion in Fannie's coupons. Thirty-year 5.5s sold the most, at $7.25 billion, while 6s sold $4.7 billion and 5s sold $2.15 billion. It was the fourth consecutive week of listed sales. All told, the Fed's purchases have grossed $355.15 billion so far, but net of sales that figure drops to $341.55 billion. See a detailed table of the current week’s purchases and sales. The Fed's assets gained $9.56 billion the same week ending March 25, according to a balance sheet summary released Thursday. The data show the Fed's consolidated balance sheet grew to a value of $2.05 trillion, and is up $1.18 trillion from the year-ago week ended March 26, 2008. Last week, the Federal Open Market Committee released a statement announcing it had decided to increase the Fed’s balance sheet in an attempt to “provide greater support to mortgage lending and housing markets….” The FOMC said it would increase the Fed’s purchases of agency MBS by $750 billion, to $1.25 trillion this year. It also announced it would increase the Fed’s commitment to purchase agency debt by $100 billion, to a total of up to $200 billion. Write to Diana Golobay at email@example.com. Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.