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Abstract

Rabobankâ's offer to purchase Farm Credit Services of America (FCSA) for $600 million was a surprise because few people ever envisioned 1) fragmentation of the Farm Credit System and/or 2) a foreign lender gaining large market share of U.S. agricultural financial markets. Although FCSA has formally rejected the offer, the action has generated intense public debate about cooperative dividend policy, capital adequacy standards, government sponsored entity (GSE) status of the Farm Credit System and credit gaps in rural America. This case study provides a brief overview of FCSA, Rabobank, and motivation for the purchase offer. Next, the actual deal and timeline for implementation are described, had the offer to buy been accepted by FCSA. Finally, lingering issues raised by the offer are discussed. These issues will likely be important topics of deliberation in forthcoming federal farm and agricultural credit program legislation.

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