Financial institutions have been loading up on securities backed by government-owned Ginnie Mae because they make balance sheets look healthier. An analysis found that about 8,500 banks and thrifts have boosted their holdings of Ginnie securities from $41 billion at the end of June 2008 to more than $113 billion a year later. The trend helped create an outlet for billions in loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, fueling the agency's meteoric rise.

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