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Federal Reserve Finds $600 Billion in the Couch

Trying to follow the amount of money the Federal Reserve has pumped into the economy (and the banks) can be truly mind-boggling, and it’s not getting easier.

The Fed announced plans Wednesday to purchase $600 billion worth of Treasury bonds and to buy more of the Treasury’s debt — up to $900 billion by June.

The timing may not be a coincidence. A former Fed governor tells The New York Times that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke would prefer more stimulus money from Congress, but the new Republican majority in the House makes that unlikely. — PZS

The New York Times:

Laurence H. Meyer, a former Fed governor who closely monitors the central bank, said the prospect of sustained fiscal gridlock had already pushed Mr. Bernanke to move.

“Bernanke has said that fiscal stimulus, accommodated by the Fed, is the single most powerful action the government can take for lowering the unemployment rate ,when short-term rates are already at zero,” Mr. Meyer said. “He has nearly pleaded with Congress for fiscal stimulus, but he can’t count on it. So he has to act as if that’s not going to happen. “

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