The Federal Home Loan Bank Board plans to vote today on creating a corporation to issue $10.8 billion in bonds for the insolvent federal fund that insures deposits at savings and loan associations, bank board chairman M. Danny Wall said yesterday.
Congress passed a banking bill earlier this month authorizing the bank board to form the corporation, which initially will sell about $400 million of 30-year bonds. The money will begin to flow as early as October to the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp., which ended 1986 more than $6 billion in the red because of rising S&L failures and the government's cost of paying to close or sell the troubled institutions.
But as the federal government prepares to sell bonds to refund FSLIC, S&L industry analysts appear divided on how well the bonds are likely to sell and on whether the S&L industry itself should be allowed to buy them.
The bonds will be repaid in coming decades from fees that have been and will be charged to the S&L industry.
But with about 20 percent of the nation's 3,200 S&Ls in trouble, many industry observers wonder if the industry will be around long enough to repay the interest on the long-term obligations.
Wall said yesterday, however, that any worry about possible default was "specious."
"Congress will ensure the obligations will be met," Wall said. Permitting default on any quasi-governmental security would undermine confidence in all U.S. government securities, he said, and Congress would never tolerate that.
Another worry, says banking analyst Bert Ely, is the possibility that troubled S&Ls will buy the bonds. "Should a thrift be taking that kind of speculation?" he asked in a recent interview. "You're talking essentially the same kind of risk as you are in junk bonds, at least until the market gets to know and trust these bonds. The short-term risk is liquidity."
Wall brushed aside such skepticism. "No one should worry about the quality of the bonds," he said. "These are good quality.