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FHLB Results Turn Sour

$0.7 billion Q4 loss

March 16, 2009

By staff

The Federal Home Loan Banks earned more than $1 billion last year -- though income sank from the previous year and the fourth quarter turned negative.

During 2008, combined earnings at all 12 banks were $1.2 billion, the FHLBanks Office of Finance reported today. Income sank from $2.8 billion in 2007.

Other-than-temporary impairments on private-label residential mortgage-backed securities and home-equity loan investments, as well as losses on derivatives and hedging activities tied to SFAS 133, contributed to $2.0 billion in charges last year.

The charges could continue if delinquency continues to deteriorate and home values continue to decline.

Fourth-quarter 2008 combined earnings were an $0.7 billion loss. Earning reversed from an $0.5 billion profit during the third quarter and a net profit of $0.8 billion in the fourth-quarter 2007. Other-than-temporary impairments were $1.8 billion during the latest quarter.

The banks had $1.349 trillion in combined assets as of Dec. 31, 2008, declining from $1.429 trillion on Sept. 30 but higher than $1.272 trillion one year earlier.

Included in the most recent tally of assets were $0.929 trillion in advances and $0.087 trillion in mortgage assets .

Combined GAAP capital was $51.4 billion at the end of last year, down 4 percent from Dec. 31, 2007. At the FHLBank of Seattle, however, there were negative retained earnings of $79 million.

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