In the wake of the Federal Reserve's announcement yesterday that it will buy $600 billion of long-term Treasury bonds over the next eight months, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has an op ed in the Washington Post making the case for the move. Lowering long-term rates will bolster economic growth by making home purchases more affordable and encourage companies to invest, Bernanke argues.
The Wall Street Journal says the $600 billion total for the new round of bond purchases was in line with expectations. The Fed will concentrate its buying in the five- to six-year area, according to the Journal article.
A Reuters article cites critics' fears, including the possibility the bond purchases will spark inflation or asset bubbles. Caroline Baum of Bloomberg worries that the Fed's tampering with long-term rates will muffle important information provided by the Treasury yield curve and suggests the Fed just buy foreclosed houses instead.