Friday, December 12, 2008

A very rich Fed

Assets on the Fed’s balance sheet have more than doubled over the past year, reaching $2.14 trillion on Dec. 3, and may increase more as the Fed buys up to $600 billion of housing- finance debt and securities...

“The creation of excess reserves is the least desirable form of central bank balance-sheet expansion during periods when bank balance sheets are a critical to bottleneck to financial flows,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC. “You have your choice then: Either the Fed can issue liabilities to the general public, or you can issue Treasury liabilities. The preferred option is Treasuries.”

-Fed Explored Starting Sales of Bonds as Balance Sheet Grows

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