Purchases or sales of Treasury securities on an outright basis have been used historically as a tool to manage the supply of bank reserves to maintain conditions in the market for reserves consistent with the federal funds target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).
On March 18, 2009, the FOMC announced a longer-dated Treasury purchase program with a different operating goal, to help improve conditions in private credit markets.
On August 10, 2010, the FOMC directed the Open Market Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to keep constant the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities at their current level by reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in longer-term Treasury securities.
On November 3, 2010, the FOMC decided to expand the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities in the SOMA to promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with its mandate.
On June 22, 2011, the FOMC directed the Desk to continue reinvesting principal payments on all domestic securities in Treasury securities to maintain the Federal Reserve’s holdings of domestic securities at approximately $2.6 trillion. Reinvestments of principal payments on agency debt and MBS into Treasury securities ceased on September 30, 2011, following the September 21 FOMC decision to reinvest those payments in agency MBS.
Longer-dated Treasury Purchase Program FAQs ››
FAQs: Reinvestment of Principal Payments on Agency Debt and Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities in Treasuries ››
Fast Facts: $600 Billion Treasury Large-Scale Asset Purchase Program
FAQs: Purchases of Longer-term Treasury Securities »