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Fed opts to extend Twist program by $267 Billion

Fed opts to extend Twist program by $267 billion (by Steve Goldstein)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it is extending its Operation Twist program by $267 billion because growth in employment has slowed. The Fed said the program, of buying Treasury securities with maturities between six and 30 years and selling those of three years and less, will put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help make financial conditions more accommodative. In an 11 to 1 vote, the Fed also kept its federal funds target between 0% and 0.25% and reiterated that exceptionally low levels of rates are needed at least through late 2014. "The Committee anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only slowly toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its dual mandate," the FOMC said, adding strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks and that inflation will run at or below the level most consistent with its dual mandate. The only dissent was Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, who opposed continuation of the maturity extension program.

Breakdown of new $267 billion Operation Twist plan (by Steve Goldstein)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The Federal Reserve's $267 billion extension of its Operation Twist program will have 32% of purchases between six and eight years, 32% between eight and ten years, 4% between 10 and 20 years, 29% between 20 and 30 years and 3% in TIPS. The program of bond buys and bond sells of securities three years and under will run through the end of 2012.

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Fed opts to extend Twist program by $267 Billion
Fed cuts inflation, growth forecasts