The Fed and QE

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by esc_trader, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. Appreciate any insights on this, which I'm trying to better grasp..

    The Fed (call it QE or whatever) buys up govt debt. Which it seems anxious to do. Basically printing money to pay for the deficit.

    I've heard this referred to as, putting it on the Fed's balance sheet.

    The fed holds this debt, interest payments go to the Fed. Does the Fed's "balance sheet" mean anything? Isn't this simply printing money to pay for the deficit? Need the Fed ever "unwind" these positions? What are the possible implications?

    I'm not convinced risk can be made to disappear in this way.

    I can understand the obvious threats - "devaluing" the currency, but you have two values of the dollar. The international (FX rate) and the domestic (purchasing power in the US) - the latter more directly influencing quality of life in the US, and more relevant politically (leaving aside for a moment those issues of FX influence on intl trade).

    Inflation (devaluing the $ in the US) is the threat, but also gaming the #s as the reported rates don't square with reality. Health ins, energy, food - the truly mandatory items for the US population, not being reflected in the reported #s.