Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Big Purchases by the Federal Reserve

In his semi-annual report to Congress today, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said:

To support housing markets and economic activity more broadly, and to improve mortgage market functioning, the Federal Reserve has begun to purchase large amounts of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities.

He's very serious since the Federal Reserve started tracking mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in its assets in January, it's made big purchases.

Factors Affecting Federal Reserve Balances H.4.1

Yes, that's purchase of more than $55 billion during the week of February 12th. This kind of aggressive action fits the model begun by the interest rate slashing and other credit lines and purchase programs created by the Fed within the past year.

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