credit creation

So finally, the Fed is taking home loans onto its balance sheet, a tool Bernanke proposed years ago to combat deflation. (Interesting, the list of reflationary tools proposed were: drop short-term interest rate, cap long-term rate, buy private debt, buy foreign debt, tax cut, and government purchases; so there are just a few more options left.)

Fed Easing Liquidity in Funding Markets

By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

The Fed announced the creation of a new tool, called the Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF), geared to provide primary dealers — big Wall Street investment firms and banks that trade directly with the Fed — with 28-day loans of Treasury securities, rather than overnight loans. They would pledge other securities — including federal agency residential-mortgage-backed securities, such as those of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — as collateral for the loans of Treasury securities. Fed officials said that’s the first time they’ll be accepting mortgage-backed securities through this type of lending program.

Unfortunately, that does tend to make the Fed less credit-worthy, say if the banks were unable to repay their 28-day debts. And since the Fed is where the government keeps its money:

U.S. Treasuries Riskier Than German Debt, Default Swaps Show

By Abigail Moses

March 11 (Bloomberg) — The risk of losses on U.S. Treasury notes exceeded German bunds for the first time ever amid investor concern the subprime mortgage crisis is sapping government reserves, credit-default swaps prices show.

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