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Paper dollars are technically Federal Reserve Notes, which means they are liabilities of the Fed. When it puts newly minted notes into circulation it does so by buying assets, usually U.S. treasuries, which it then holds on its balance sheet to offset that liability. By swapping treasuries for mortgages, the Fed effectively alters the compilation of its balance sheet and the backing of its notes.
However, backing paper money with mortgages is nothing new. The French tried it in the late 18th Century, and it lead to hyperinflation. Assignats, which were first issued in 1790 to help finance the French revolution, were backed by mortgages on confiscated church properties.
Although the stolen underlying collateral did have some value, the revolutionaries saw no reason to limit how many Assignats were printed, which resulted in massive depreciation. Within three years, price controls were introduced and failure to accept Assignats, initially an offence subject to six years in prison, was made a capital crime. By 1799 the currency was completely worthless.