the lead indicator
the lead indicator
During his State of the Union address last week, President Obama pushed for renewed investment in the country’s weakening infrastructure.
In the ranking of proposals making the rounds in Washington, this one falls low on the scales of partisanship. Party ideologies aside, the quiet majority in Congress stands to benefit from a program that would see new spending reach virtually every district in the nation. If there is one arena in which policy makers’ individual incentives might trump doctrine, this could be it.
Facing the prospect of weaker growth and higher unemployment, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced last week that it will continue its maturity extension program through at least the end of 2012 rather than allow it to expire. The program—more commonly known as Operation Twist—will see the New York Fed sell or redeem Treasury securities with maturities of less than three years, redeploying the proceeds in the acquisition of long-date securities. As opposed to an expansion of the Fed’s holdings, maturity extension relates to their composition and is balance-sheet neutral.
The Federal Reserve of New York has stepped in to buy 33 Maiden Lane, a 570,000-square-foot downtown skyscraper that the Fed uses for a portion of its Manhattan offices.
“The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has entered into an agreement to acquire the building at 33 Maiden Lane in lower Manhattan,” a New York Fed spokesperson confirmed in a prepared statement issued yesterday afternoon to The Commercial Observer. “The Bank is now in a final due diligence phase prior to the expected closing in the first quarter.”
As a side-effect of Bear Stearns’ bailout, the New York Fed took over a gargantuan mortgage portfolio. Two years later, it’s leaving some Fed officials with a rather unfamiliar dilemma: Working with local sheriffs, they may have to foreclose on some delinquent properties around the country. And their recently-secretive collection includes something like Read More