FHLBs In-depth

News Coverage and Editorials

Below is a collection of news coverage as well as editorials from a variety of sources and perspectives.

To submit news coverage for inclusion in this list, please email contact@fhlbreform.org for consideration.

American Banker
Federal Home Loan banks' profits skyrocket from 2023 liquidity crisis
March 3, 2024

The Economist
Another Bank Subsidy America Should Kill Off
February 13, 2024

Bank Think: American Banker
FHFA's Home Loan Bank Report is a Policy Unicorn. Don't Let it Escape.
February 2, 2024

The Hill: Opinion
Kudos to Congress for Forcing Bankers' Hands on Affordable Housing
February 1, 2024

Opinion: Bloomberg
Bank Runs are Terrible. The Fed can Eliminate Them.
January 10, 2024

Blog Post: Cato Institute
The Decline and Fall of the Federal Home Loan Banks
January 2, 2024

Op-Ed: Cornelius Hurley
The FHLBs Lash Out Against Reform
December, 2023

Podcast: Economics Matters
Top Banking Expert, Cornelius Hurley Says Our Next Banking Crisis Is Here

News Report: Fitch Ratings
Potential FHLB Rule Changes Could Weaken US Bank Liquidity Profiles
December 14, 2023

News Report: Bloomberg
Why the US is Overhauling Federal Home Loan Banks
December 13, 2023

Analysis of FHLBank System’s Nearly 100-Year History Paves Way for Future of Housing Finance
December 6, 2023

News Report: Reuters
Life insurers binge on US financing aimed at helping housing
December 5, 2023

News Report: ABA Banking Journal
FHFA's Thompson: Home loan banks not meant as lender of last resort
November 20, 2023

News Report: Bloomberg
Canada's Biggest Bank is Trying to Fix Its $10 Billion Headache
November 22, 2023, Christine Dobby

News Report: Bloomberg
US Calls for New FHLB Limits After Bank Turmoil Brought Scrutiny
November 7, 2023, Austin Weinstein

News Report: American Banker Podcast
The 'poignant American drama' of the Home Loan Bank System
November 3, 2023, Claire Williams interviews Mark Calabria, Ryan Donovan, and Cornelius Hurley

News Report: News Wire
Best’s Special Report: Insurer Membership in Federal Home Loan Bank Grows as Life/Annuity Companies Capitalize on Investment Spreads
November 1, 2023

FHFA's Review of the FHLB System
October 31, 2023, Ryan Donovan, Credit Union National Association
FHLB lobbyist urges credit unions to resist agency reforms.

News report: CFR
Federal Home Bank of San Francisco Threat to CFR Member Prompts Quick Reply
October 29, 2023
The chair of the board of directors of the FHLB of San Francisco issued a thinly veiled threat to CFR member Cornelius Hurley complaining of his remarks in a recent podcast about the termination of Teresa Bazemore as CEO of the Bank. Hurley connected her departure to the Bank's disastrous loans of taxpayer-supported funds to a crypto bank and to Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank earlier this year. Hurley quickly rebuffed her complaints.

News Report-Bloomberg
A Vegas Whale and Wall Street Tap Billions Meant for Housing
October 20, 2023

News Report- Bloomberg
Flawed US Home-Loan System Neglects the Buyers Who Need It Most
September 14, 2023, Heathr Perlberg and Noah Buhayar
Well researched piece chronicles how the FHLBs fail at their affordable housing mission.

A layperson’s guide to the Federal Home Loan Banks review
Sept. 27, 2023, by Cornelius Hurley, The Hill
During the past year, the FHLBanks have contributed to a national banking crisis; the First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank failures respectively, the second, third and fourth largest U.S. bank failures on record. They have also used this year to veer far off their housing missions into the murky world of crypto banks.

News Report- Bloomberg
US Officials Weigh Pathway to Let More Firms Tap Federal Home Loan Banks
Aug. 30, 2023, by Austin Weinstein, Bloomberg
US officials are looking at ways to give a broader swath of financial firms, including nonbank mortgage lenders, the ability to borrow from Federal Home Loan Banks.

News Report-American Banker
Should the Federal Home Loan Banks Become Public Benefit Corporations?
August 28, 2023, Kate Berry, American Banker
The article explains public benefit corporations and why this may be the right business model for the FHLBs.

The dangerous role of America’s weird lenders-of-next-to-last resort: Inside a byzantine corner of the US financial system
Aug. 18, 2023, Financial Times

Stephen Cecchetti is professor in international finance at Brandeis International Business School. Kim Schoenholtz is clinical professor emeritus at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Lawrence White is professor of economics at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and was a regulator of the FHLB system in 1986-89.

Some government financial institutions strengthen the system; others do not. Nowhere is that clearer than with the tangled mess of the Federal Home Loan Bank system.

When US safety nets undercut the financial system

July 20, 2023, by Gillian Tett, Financial Times
When Silicon Valley Bank collapsed this spring, it revealed ugly truths about the private sector financial world — including that investors and regulators had become “blindsided by risks which ex post seemed too obvious to be missed”, as a hard-hitting new book from NYU Stern business school notes.


Home Loan Banks Are Adrift and Asking for Trouble

July 19, 2023, Bloomberg Editorial Board

A rethink of America’s dysfunctional housing finance system is long overdue. The system’s most infamous exemplars are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, still critically undercapitalized after almost 15 years in government conservatorship. But the 11 regional Federal Home Loan Banks may be a better place to start.

News Report-Bloomberg
US Regulator Weighs Limiting Big Banks’ Borrowing From FHLBs

June 30, 2023, by Austin Weinstein and Katanga Johnson, Bloomberg

US officials are considering limits on the ability of large lenders to use Federal Home Loan Banks as a financial backstop, part of a broader proposal to overhaul the system.


Trouble in Camelot, as the Home Loan banks face scrutiny

June 15, 2023, By Cornelius Hurley, American Banker
A law was made a distant moon ago here in Camelot, in 1932 to be precise. It created a magical banking system where all the CEOs make millions, and the banks never fail. It's a magnificent place where every loan application is approved, and every loan is paid off. In this banking paradise, capital is not an issue because every eager borrower happily ponies up part of the loan in capital. It sounds a bit bizarre but that's how conditions are in Camelot.

News Report-Bloomberg
$1.5 Trillion Backstop for Homebuyers Props Up Banks Instead
June, 4, 2023

Federal Home Loan Banks should not be bailing out banks

May 24, 2023, by Cornelius Hurley, American Banker
Some in the financial regulatory establishment have long viewed the Federal Home Loan Banks with skepticism and for good reason.

Home Loan banks could be doing much more to support affordable housing

May 22, 2023, Rev. Luis Cortés Jr., American Banker

I have the honor of serving as the founder and CEO of Esperanza, a nonprofit community development corporation confronting poverty, disinvestment, blight and the lack of economic opportunity in the low-income Hunting Park neighborhood of Philadelphia. I understand the growing challenges facing Hunting Park and urban and rural low-income communities across America. During my 20-year service as an independent board member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, which ended in 2021, I learned the Federal Home Loan Bank System can do much more as a government sponsored enterprise to support affordable housing.

News Report-POLITICO
Government-backed lenders provided $30B to three failed banks. Lawmakers want to know why.
Apr. 14, 2023, Katy O’Donnell, Politico
The Federal Home Loan Banks, a group of government-sponsored lenders whose mission is to finance housing and community development, loaned tens of billions of dollars to three crypto-friendly banks before they failed last month.


Home Loan banks' liquidity mission is vital to housing and development

April 10, 2023, By Alfred DelliBovi, American Banker
Throughout my career, I have seen the Federal Home Loan Bank System from various angles — first from outside the system as United States Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for three years, then from within as president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York for more than 21 years, and, for the past six years as a member of the system, serving as chairman of Flushing Bank, a longtime member of the New York bank.

News Report-American Banker
Banks tap Federal Home Loan Bank System for $90 billion in liquidity

March 23, 2023, By Kate Berry and Kyle Campbell, American Banker

Banks flooded the Federal Home Loan Bank System with requests for up to $90 billion in billions in low-cost funding to shore up liquidity and avert a crisis due to a runoff of deposits.

News Report-Wall Street Journal
How the Last-Ditch Effort to Save Silicon Valley Bank Failed
Mar. 22, 2023, By Hannah Miao, Gregory Zuckerman and Ben Eisen, The Wall Street Journal

Depositors were draining their accounts via smartphone apps and telling their startup networks to do the same. But inside Silicon Valley Bank, executives were trying to navigate the U.S. banking system’s creaky apparatus for emergency lending and to persuade its custodian bank to stay open late to handle a multibillion-dollar transfer.

News Report-American Banker

Is the Home Loan banks’ mission to boost liquidity or housing?

Mar. 7, 2023, Kate Berry, American Banker
The Federal Home Loan banks have a vastly different view of their mission compared to their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, setting up a potential clash as the system faces its first major regulatory review in 90 years. The review proposed last year by FHFA Director Sandra Thompson will determine whether the $1.1 trillion-asset Home Loan Bank system is providing the public service it was created to provide.


The FHFA is coming for the Home Loan banks
Feb. 14, 2023, John Heltman, American Banker
Government programs are not universally renowned for their efficiency. This fact is often cited by conservative-minded organizations — along with harrowing tales of $10,000 toilet seats and $1 million pens — as justification for eliminating those programs, while the government itself tends to study the problem and occasionally do something about it.

News Report-American Banker

Status quo 'is not acceptable' for Home Loan banks, FHFA chief says
Feb. 13, 2023, Kate Berry, American Banker
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson is calling for an end to "the status quo" at the Federal Home Loan Bank System and for more funding for underserved, rural and tribal communities.

FHLBanks promote stability during liquidity challenges

Jan. 29, 2023, Ryan Donovan, The Hill
As the saying goes, a person is entitled to their opinion, but not their own set of facts. A recent opinion piece published here lays on a display that frankly cannot be left unchallenged.

It's NOT a Wonderful Bureaucracy
December 25, 2022, Cornelius Hurley, The Hill
How the FHLBs work as seen through the eyes of George Bailey and Old Man Potter.


FHLBanks need to be reimagined

Dec. 27, 2022, Cornelius Hurley, The Boston Globe

A call for a review of the system is for good cause. On the table is the very mission of the enterprise and the urgent search for modern stakeholders.

News Report-Wall Street Journal

The $42 Billion Question: Why Aren’t Americans Ditching Big Banks?
Dec. 8, 2022, Dion Rabouin, The Wall Street Journal
Depositors lose when the FHLBs win. Big banks still pay next to nothing on savings, but their customers aren’t yet moving much money to higher-yielding alternatives

News Report-American Banker

Former Fed Gov. Tarullo sees systemic risk in 'irrelevant' Federal Home Loan banks

July 7, 2022, Kate Berry, American Banker

Former Federal Reserve Gov. Daniel Tarullo and two Fed economists are calling for more oversight of the Federal Home Loan banks, claiming the banks have expanded into activities that pose risks to financial stability and have become “irrelevant” in housing finance markets.


The Great American Housewashing Is Happening Under Our Noses
November 25, 2022, Cornelius Hurley, The Hill
Explodes the myth that the FHLBs help with the housing crisis.


Weighing the Cost and benefits of Federal Home Loan banks
November 21, 2022, Cornelius Hurley, American Banker
Former FHLB director Cornelius Hurley calculates the actual annual subsidy the FHLBs receive from the taxpayers.


Imagining Taxpayers' Response to FHFA's Home Loan Bank Review
October 7, 2022, Cornelius Hurley, American Banker
The toll the FHLBs take on depositors and taxpayers as told by a fictional trade association representing taxpayers' and depositors' interests.


The ABA Misses the Mark in its defense of the Federal Home Loan Banks
May 30, 2022, Cornelius Hurley, American Banker
Hurley rebuts the ABA defense of the FHLBs.

As the Federal Home Loan banks turn 90, we shouldn't mess with success
May 13, 2022, Julien Turlow (for the American Bankers Association), American Banker


Taxpayers' Support for Home Loan Banks Is No Longer Justified
March 29, 2022, Cornelius Hurley, The Hill
Explains why FHLB executive compensation is unjustified and why the system itself is broken.

An Open Letter to Sandra Thompson Regarding the Future of the Federal Home Loan Bank System
February 2, 2022, Cornelius Hurley & William Isaac, American Banker
Hurley and Isaac recommend a path forward for reforming the FHLBs.

Reimagining the Federal Home Loan Bank System
December 1, 2021, Cornelius Hurley & William M. Isaac, American Banker
Hurley and Isaac kick off the current debate over the Federal Home Loan Banks.