Fed Holds Line on Rates, Stop MBS Purchase Plan

The Federal Reserve kept interest rates near zero and restated its intention to cease buying mortgage-backed securities in March, while losing unanimity on how long to keep borrowing costs low.

At the same time, “the Committee will continue to evaluate its purchases of securities in light of the evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial markets,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement today in Washington.

Policy makers are keeping interest rates “exceptionally low” for an “extended period” as they wind down the record amounts of credit they have provided since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008. Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig dissented, saying “financial conditions had changed sufficiently that the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted.”

Source: Bloomberg

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