Unconventional monetary policy announced by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee on March 18 2009:
“To provide greater support to mortgage lending and housing markets, the Committee decided today to increase the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet further by purchasing up to an additional $750 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities, bringing its total purchases of these securities to up to $1.25 trillion this year, and to increase its purchases of agency debt this year by up to $100 billion to a total of up to $200 billion. Moreover, to help improve conditions in private credit markets, the Committee decided to purchase up to $300 billion of longer-term Treasury securities over the next six months.”
Essentially the Federal Reserve has announced its forcasted purchases for 2009 which will expand its balance sheet. It has forecasted for 2009, purchases of up to $1.25 trillion in agency mortgage-backed securities and $200 billion in agengy debt. It has forecasted from March to September of 2009, purchases of up to $300 billion of longer-term US Department of Treasury securities. All these forecasted purchases for 2009 will result in a total $1.75 trillion increase of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet over 2008.
The Fed will need to fund itself in order to purchase all of these securities and debt from the markets. The Federal Reserve has three methods of funding: the Fed can borrow the funds, the Fed can ask the Treasury to borrow funds, or it can print money/credit commercial banks’ reserve balances at the Fed.
Federal Reserve Press Release on March 18 2009
US Budget Watch Summary of Press Release