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Q&A with Richard Dorfman

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In an interview, Richard Dorfman, president and CEO, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, talked about the expanding role of the Federal Home Loan Banking System in the mortgage markets. Dorfman said that while his bank and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac share similarities such as the government-sponsored designation, the home loan banks have significantly different business models and are performing very differently in the current market. The banks are self-capitalizing in the sense that borrowers also purchase stock when they come in for funding. So, Federal Home Loan Bank has been able to build and grow its capital base even as it expanded liquidity to its members. Dorfman added that their balance sheet is overwhelmingly characterized by an asset called "advances," meaning loans to members. And they are a cooperative -- as opposed to a stock-exchange-listed corporation -- so only their shareholders can be members.

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