Tags: fed | bernanke | easing | twist

Fed May Uncork 'Operation Twist' This Week

Sunday, 18 Sep 2011 05:14 PM

The Federal Reserve this week could announce a new stimulus measure designed to get the economy going.

Many market watchers are waiting for the so-called Operation Twist, a measure in which the Fed sells short-term government debt while loading on longer-term bonds with the aim of keeping long-term interest rates low and fuel more economic activity.

Lower long-term rates could make taking out loans such as mortgages or car loans more attractive.

"The Fed will likely attempt to spur another leap of faith, pushing investors to move out the risk spectrum and away from riskless assets, and deposits, to support asset prices, boost wealth and aid the deleveraging process," says Tony Crescenzi, senior strategist at Pimco, the world's largest bond fund, according to CNBC.

Should the Fed carry out some form of Operation Twist — named for the Chubby Checker song in that the measure twists the numbers on the yield curve — the market should realize there is still only so much monetary authorities can do to get the economy going again, others say.

"It's not their job to bail out the whole world, but next week there's high expectations for the Fed," says Nomura Americas Treasury strategist George Goncalves, CNBC adds.

The Fed meets Tuesday and Wednesday, although some officials have hinted the central bank can't do much more than keep interest rates low and let the economy recover on its own with the help of more fiscal discipline from the government.

"If I believe further accommodation or some jujitsu with the yield curve will do the trick and ignite sustainable aggregate demand, I will support it," says Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher, according to Bloomberg.

"But the bar for such action remains very high for me until the fiscal authorities do their job, just as we have done ours. And if they do, further monetary accommodation may not even be necessary."

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