U.S. Fed balance sheet grows in latest week

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For balance sheet graphic: link.reuters.com/buf92k^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The Fed’s holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.672 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $1.665 trillion the previous week. The Fed’s ownership of mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB), Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) was unchanged on the week at $870.9 billion. The Fed’s holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system was also unchanged from last week at $108.3 billion. The Fed this week bought longer-dated Treasuries and sold shorter-dated debt under its program announced last month and dubbed “Operation Twist.” The goal of the program is to lower mortgage rates and long-term borrowing costs in a bid to stimulate borrowing and investments, whose combined sluggish growth has been a drag on the economy. Meanwhile, the Fed’s overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $26 million a day in the week ended Wednesday, down from $29 million a day in the previous week.

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