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Inside Washington (07/14/2008)
* WASHINGTON (7/15/08)--The Federal Reserve Board and Bush administration announced Sunday that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has the authority to lend to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “This authorization is intended to supplement the Treasury's existing lending authority and to help ensure the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to promote the availability of home mortgage credit during a period of stress in financial markets,” the Fed said in a release. Any lending would be at the primary credit rate. The Treasury also proposed a three-part plan: a temporary increase in the line of credit the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have with Treasury, temporary authority for the Treasury to purchase equity in either of the two GSEs if needed and a consultant role for the Federal Reserve in the new GSE regulator's process for setting capital requirements, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said. Government agencies are stepping up to help the GSEs as Fannie and Freddie shares dropped about 35% last week (American Banker July 14) ...


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