After flattening out, it's headed higher once again with QE2. One question, when the Fed wants to sell MBS and other securities, who's gonna buy?
(Source -Reuters) The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet expanded for a sixth straight week, bolstered to a record by purchases of Treasuries, Fed data released on Thursday showed.
The balance sheet, a broad gauge of Fed lending to the financial system, rose to $2.364 trillion in the week ended Dec. 8 from $2.329 trillion the previous week.
Last month, the U.S. central bank began a second bout of quantitative easing, known as QE2. The Fed expects to buy about $600 billion in U.S. government debt purchases over an eight-month period in an effort to stimulate the economy.
The balance sheet exceeded the previous record of $2.333 trillion set in May as the Fed was about to end its initial round of bond purchases that involved $300 billion of Treasuries and $1.425 billion in mortgage-related securities.
The Fed's QE2 follows its use of proceeds from maturing mortgage securities in its portfolio to buy Treasuries -- a move that started in August. Since that time, it has purchased about a combined $175 billion in Treasuries.
The central bank's holdings of U.S. government securities totaled $949.61 billion on Wednesday, up from $917.45 billion last week.
Answer this important question Bernanke: