El miércoles la Reserva Federal anunció una nueva ronda de expansión cuantitativa. Esta vez la QE3 no implica la emisión de dinero para comprar bonos del Tesoro, sino el cambio en la madurez promedio de su portafolio comprando bonos de largo plazo y vendiendo bonos de corto. Según esta nota de The Economist:
[I]t announced it would purchase $400 billion of Treasury securities maturing in six to 30 years by next June, while selling an equivalent amount with maturities of three years or less. It also said it would maintain its mortgage-related holdings at current levels to support the housing market. Three of the ten voting officials dissented, as they did in August when the Fed said it expected to keep short-term rates near zero at least until mid-2013.
Buying long-term bonds by selling shorter-term issues is less aggressive than the Fed’s previous two rounds of “quantitative easing” (QE), in which it bought bonds with newly printed money. But the impact is similar. Lengthening the average maturity of the Fed’s $2.65 trillion portfolio reduces the supply of long-term bonds, nudging down yields.