The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has embarked on a hiring spree, seeking to recruit traders to manage its bulging securities holdings, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. The New York Fed plans to raise the number of employees in its markets group to 400 by the end of then year, compared with 240 at the end of 2007, the paper said on its Web site. The Fed is thus becoming one of Wall Street's most active recruiters of financial talent, as most of its new staff come from the private sector. In contrast, many banks, hedge funds, private equity companies and rating agencies are cutting jobs. The Fed has been buying fixed-income securities to kick-start the economy at such a rate that its assets have more than doubled to $2 trillion in the past year, the paper said. "Once we started to have to implement programs that were clearly outside the traditional credit-easing tools that the Fed has used before, it became illogical to manage some of the new programs inside the current structure," Patricia Mosser, senior adviser at the Fed, told the Financial Times. Many of the new programs "needed their own resources," Mosser added. The Federal Reserve is starting a two-day meeting to decide on monetary policy, and investors will look for any signs of talk about an exit strategy from the quantitative easing phase. Many analysts have said it would be too early for such talk, as any fears of tighter monetary conditions would smother the timid signs of a recovery.