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Fed Said to Retreat From Seeking Debt-Issuing Power (2009-06-09)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aIA7qGDHJiIg

・The Federal Reserve has backed off from seeking a new tool to forestall inflation, refraining from asking Congress for the power to issue its own debt, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Putting off the issue may avoid a political clash over whether the Fed should begin winding down its emergency lending programs while unemployment remains elevated. The central bank intends to rely instead on paying interest on banks’ reserve deposits to prevent a flood of cash into the economy.

・Abate said in an interview that lawmakers may be reluctant to allow the Fed to issue debt that’s not subject to the Treasury limit and competes with other government securities. In addition, were Fed officials to ask Congress for debt-issuing powers, they would be “opening themselves up to political interference,” he said.

・Gaining authority to issue its own debt would allow the Fed to reduce reserves in the banking system and push up interest rates without having to shrink the balance sheet, San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen said March 25.

・Lacking the power to issue its own debt separates the Fed from central banks in Japan, China, the U.K. and other countries that do have such authority.

・New York Fed President William Dudley said last week that under such a program, Fed debt would probably be restricted to maturities of less than 30 days. “We’d like Congress to consider it,” Dudley said, according to a transcript of an interview with the Economist. “It’s nice to have -- as opposed to critical.”

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