Having failed last year to phase out the Federal Home Loan banks' investments in conventional mortgage-backed securities, the Federal Housing Finance Board is taking an indirect approach to achieve the same objective.

In a rule proposed last week, the board specified that any mortgage-backed securities purchased after April 12 may be subject to limits the board might approve in the future. The implication is that the Home Loan banks should treat bonds bought after that date differently on their books, because they might need to sell them before they mature.

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