Fed Hints at New Bond-Buying Plan

Posted November 14th, 2012 at 6:10 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers, in notes of its October meeting released Wednesday, indicated they may continue purchasing mortgage-backed securities and other assets to keep interest rates low and cash available in the banking system.

The minutes say that if the job market and economy remain lackluster, the central bank will likely need to expand its bond purchases after its current buying program, known as Operation Twist, expires in December.

In Operation Twist, the Fed has been selling short-term Treasury notes, and buying an equal amount of longer-term bonds.

The minutes show that most committee members think that Fed initiatives have helped boost the economy by supporting consumer spending on costly items such as cars and homes. However, with U.S. unemployment at 7.9 percent and economic growth at about 2 percent a year, the committee thinks more needs to be done in the coming year.