Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Fed's Balance Sheet

. Thursday, July 23, 2009

From RTE over at the WSJ, via DeLong.

The Fed’s balance sheet expanded for the first time in three weeks, rising back over $2 trillion. Direct-bank lending rose after posting declines in the four previous weeks, though the increase was relatively small. A bigger contribution came from a more than $5 billion boost in the Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility, which is aimed at spurring consumer lending but hasn’t been used nearly as much as originally envisioned. The largest expansion in the balance sheet came through purchases of Treasurys, agency debt and mortgage-backed securities. The Fed started a program in March to ramp up such acquisitions in order to push down long-term interest rates low. Since that time the makeup of the balance sheet has shifted substantially, with less direct emergency lending to banks and more holdings of debt. Central bank liquidity swaps increased for the first time in 14 weeks, but still remain lower than crisis levels reached soon after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

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The Fed's Balance Sheet
 
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