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Posts Tagged ‘interest rate policy’

Quantitative Easing? Welcome to Vegas!!

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 19th, 2009 9:07 AM |

rolling-diceThe Federal Reserve has ZERO room to maneuver on its interest rate policy given the fact that its interest rate tool, the Fed Funds Rate, is currently set at 0-.25%. Could that rate be set at a negative level? Well, let’s just say that it has never happened with any central bank in the world. With no more arrows left in its interest rate quiver, what is a Federal Reserve to do to manage an economy? Let’s enter the world of “quantitative easing.”

Quantitative easing by any central bank is a policy in which that bank grows its balance sheet to purchase assets (government bonds, mortgage securities, government agency debentures, etc). The purpose of purchasing these assets is to drive the prices for these assets higher which in turn brings the interest rates on these assets lower (bond prices and interest rates on those bonds have an inverse relationship). The hope the Federal Reserve holds is that in bringing rates down (government rates and mortgage rates dropped by .3% to .5% yesterday) consumer and institutional demand for money will go higher and spur the economy in the process. (more…)






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