The Federal Reserve purchased $23.4 billion of GSE MBS for the week ending Jan. 14 — nearly double the previous week's amount.

The Fed kicked off its $500 billion campaign to buy Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae MBS on Jan. 2, purchasing $10.2 billion in MBS during that week.

Meanwhile, the two-week buying spree is having its intended effect of driving down mortgage rates. According to a recent survey by Freddie Mac, 30-year FRMs are now being offered below 5%, depending on the points.

Separately, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., wants the Fed to provide "detailed information" about its hiring of four investment managers to run the MBS purchase program.

During debate on a Troubled Asset Relief Program bill, he expressed concerns about conflicts of interest. The Treasury Department also remains active in the MBS market.

It purchased $21.8 billion in Fannie and Freddie MBS in December after purchasing $23.2 billion in November.

The Fed reports its MBS purchases weekly while Treasury reports its MBS purchases monthly.


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