Rebirth at 91

Although FHFA calls its FHLB report a centenary event ahead of the System’s 2032 birthday, the agency clearly plans structural substantive reform well before that milestone.  Much of what’s planned will crimp FHLB profitability, increasing the importance of what would otherwise seem like tidying-up operational improvements to protect the viability of the System’s weaker Banks.  With its eye on keeping the System in line, FHFA does not even suggest it should be allowed by law or regulatory sleight-of-hand to issue MBS or like-kind instruments, get into the CRT business, or do anything much but provide ordinary advances to mission-focused members and up its own contributions to affordable housing.  A series of near-term regulations are also contemplated to ensure tighter mission compliance and more certain resilience, steps sure also to cut into the Banks’ already-challenged bottom lines.