Loan 'overdrafts' for US agencies

Federal agencies regularly spend and lend considerably more than the budget and the deficit indicate, mainly by recourse to a little-known off-budget agency , the Federal Financing Bank (FFB), according to Citibank's Economic Letter

How can this be done?

When they run out of budget loan funds, Agencies like the Small Business Administration and the Veterans Administration don't necessarily have to stop making loans. They can transfer or sell loans still outstanding on their books to the FFB and some other agencies funded with money not included in the unified federal budget.

For purposes of the budget, the funds received in these sales of loans to the Financing Bank are considered repayment of the original loans, just as if they had been repaid by the small businessmen or veterans who took them out.

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