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The Federal Reserve, which is anomalously considered part of the public in official reports, holds about $1.6 trillion in Treasury securities as of September 2011, or almost 17 percent of the publicly held debt (Financial Management Service 2011). That percentage is not much higher than it was before the enormous increase in the Fed’s balance sheet brought on by the recent financial crisis. It could grow substantially if the Fed monetizes more Treasury debt, unless the Fed sterilizes its purchases by selling off its nearly $1 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities and assorted miscellaneous assets. But to the extent that the Fed is now paying interest on bank reserves (and at a rate that exceeds the return on short-term Treasuries), this portion partly represents indirect holdings of private commercial banks and other depositories.
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owner: lukeavedon - (no access) - Why A US Default is Likely Hummel, p5


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