FDIC to Sell Mortgage-Backed Securities (Really!)


On its face, it's a shocking headline -- but it's not quite what it seems. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced today that it would begin selling bonds backed by residential mortgages. If these sound a little too much like the kinds of financial instruments that cratered the economy in 2008, rest assured that these securities are quite different. For one, the $500 million in underlying mortgages come from 250 banks that the FDIC has shut down since 2008. More importantly, 85 percent of the bonds will be guaranteed by the FDIC; it may not even sell notes based on the mortgages most likely to default.

FDIC chairman Sheila Bair and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, pictured above, discussed U.S. monetary policy yesterday.

Originally published