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Volume 2017 - Number 14

April 7, 2017

Fed Starts to Plan for Shrinking its Huge Portfolio After Inflation Breaches Key 2 Percent Threshold

For years, officials at the Federal Reserve seemed nonchalant about coming up with a final exit strategy for the U.S. central bank’s massive holdings of agency MBS and debt and Treasury Securities, currently valued at approximately $4.5 trillion. But now, in relatively short order, the prospect of the Fed beginning to reduce its holdings has become a “thing” – so much so, in fact, that officials there reportedly are starting to put together just such a plan. The likelihood of such a move suddenly got much stronger when the Commerce Department announced late last week that the personal-consumption expenditures price index rose 2.1 percent from a year ago. The Fed has been striving to achieve 2 percent inflation for at least the last five years, and now appears to have the green light it has been waiting for. According to various press reports, the Fed’s plan would entail...

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