For 65 years, the Federal Home Loan Bank System has provided liquidity to the housing finance market. But today some critics are questioning whether the system's 12 banks have outlived their purpose.

Viable institutions are hard to build; when they work, the trick is to harness their capacity for the future. In the case of the Federal Home Loan banks, the capacity to serve is unique in this government: a decentralized, wholesale lender of first resort, cooperative in structure, flexible in product delivery, unequaled in its ability to partner nationally, regionally, and locally to meet credit needs in housing and community revitalization.

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