05 April 2012

WSJ: Fed Buying 61 Percent of US Debt

Don't expect interest rates on savings deposits to rise at all over the next several years, or more, if the Fed keeps on buying up the majority of US Treasuries at this rate. And most likely they will, since no one else seems to want them anymore.Julie Crawshaw and Forrest Jones at MoneyNews give us this recap of the original Lawrence Goodman WSJ article here: Federal Reserve Propping up US Economy and presents a dire scenario. In the original article at the WSJ by Goodman Demand for U.S. Debt Is Not Limitless  (Possible Paywall) he makes the point that " Federal Reserve purchases of Treasury debt mask reduced demand for U.S. sovereign obligations." this creates the impression of stronger demand for US debt  and could be especially dangerous.

In consensus, Crawshaw and Jones make the point that the Fed, by propping up the treasury sales, may be delaying action on fiscal responsibility, perhaps even postponing "serious attempts to curb spending and narrow its gaping deficits" by the US Government.

"Without foreign buyers and a shrinking base of U.S. corporate and bank buyers, the Treasury has had to resort to the Federal Reserve itself to make the purchases. The Fed purchasing not only makes up the shortfall, but can keep long term interest rates artificially low."

So for now don't wait for the banks to start offering any reasonable interest rates soon, and look to the market for investments in solid stocks. But take care, the bulls are here for a short term, leading up to the elections. Then pay attention, because the results of this one will determine the financial future of not just this country, but of the world.

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