Alex J. Pollock, Paul H. Kupiec

Articles by Alex J. Pollock, Paul H. Kupiec

How the Fed’s 2008 Mortgage Experiment Fueled Today’s Housing Crisis

How should Congress assess the Federal Reserve’s track record as an investor in residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS)? Regardless of Fed spin, it merits a failing grade.
The Fed’s COVID-era intervention in the mortgage markets fueled the second real estate bubble of the 21st century. The bubble ended when the Fed stopped purchasing MBS and raised rates to fight inflation. While time will tell whether recent increases in home prices are reversed, the end of the bubble has already cost the Fed over $400 billion in losses on its MBS investments.
From 1913 until 2008, the Fed owned precisely zero mortgage-backed securities. While the Fed’s monetary policy decisions still impacted conditions in the housing and mortgage markets, they did so indirectly through the influence the Fed’s

Read More »

The Fed’s Quantitative Easing Gamble Costs Taxpayers Billions

The year 2023 is shaping up to be a challenging one for the Federal Reserve System. The Fed is on track to post its first annual operating loss since 1915. Per our estimates, the loss will be large, perhaps $100 billion or more, and this cash loss does not count the unrealized mark-to-market losses on the Fed’s massive securities portfolio.

Read More »