The Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Home Builders want Congress to grant the Federal Home Loan Banks authority to guarantee and issue mortgage-backed securities, and their proposals are stimulating debate within the FHLBank community.The Council of Federal Home Loan Banks included a discussion about mortgage securitization at its winter meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. "We had a really, really good discussion," council president John von Seggern said. But he made it clear that the council is not ready to take a position. "I don't think this is the kind of decision that we should rush," he said. America's Community Bankers has not taken a position, managing director Robert Davis said. "It is not obvious to us that it is a necessary or a good idea," Mr. Davis said. Congress will be considering legislation to place the FHLBanks under the same regulator as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The MBA and the NAHB believe the FHLBanks could increase competition in the MBS market, which is dominated by Fannie and Freddie.

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