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Fed to Buy Up to $300 Billion Long-Term Bonds
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of CNBC/Reuters News

CNBC/Reuters News, March 18, 2009
Posted: March 28th, 2009

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it will spend up to $300 billion over the next six months to buy long-term government bonds, a new step aimed at lifting the country out of recession by lowering rates on mortgages and other consumer debt. Fed purchases should boost Treasury prices and drive down their rates. That would ripple through and lower rates on other kinds of debt. The last time the Fed set out to influence long-term interest rates was during the 1960s. The Fed also said it will buy more mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help that battered market. The central bank will buy an additional $750 billion, bringing its total purchases of these securities to $1.25 trillion. It also will boost its purchase of Fannie and Freddie debt to $200 billion. Pimco's Bill Gross tells CNBC that the move has expanded the Feds balance sheet by perhaps 50 percent, up to $3 trillion. In addition, the Fed said a $1 trillion program to jump-start consumer and small business lending could be expanded to include other financial assets. Across the Atlantic, the Bank of England last week began buying government bonds from financial institutions as it turned to other ways to help revive Britain's moribund economy. The Bank of England, like the Fed, already had lowered its key interest rate to a record low of 0.5 percent. Finance leaders from top economies have discussed coordinating actions from their governments and central banks to provide a more potent punch against the global financial crisis.

Note: The Fed is now buying long-term Treasury bonds because it cannot directly lower interest rates any further. Isn't this just a hidden form of increasing the money supply, with the risk of further devaluing the dollar and eventually causing high inflation? For lots more on the hidden realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here

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