The Federal Reserve’s statement after yesterday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting left no doubt as to the Fed’s dual commitment to keeping long-term interest rates down and encouraging economic growth. But there were a few subtle changes to the Fed’s current bond-buying program made during today’s FOMC meeting.
The Fed buying bonds and Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) works by boosting bond prices, which typically helps with keeping mortgage rates lower. Instead of the Fed’s monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds and MBS per month, they will now make the call if they want to reduce these purchases, depending how well the economy is performing. Instead of turning this quantitative easing (QE) OFF or ON, they can use the concept of a “dimmer” switch instead. Continue reading