What Assets Should the Federal Reserve Buy?

FRB Richmond Economic Quarterly, vol. 87, no. 1, Winter 2001, pp. 7-22

16 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2012

See all articles by J. Alfred Broaddus

J. Alfred Broaddus

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Marvin Goodfriend

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 29, 2012

Abstract

The Fed's asset acquisition practices should adhere to two closely related principles that would support monetary policy by strengthening the Fed's independence: asset acquisition should respect the integrity of fiscal policy and minimize the risk of political entanglements involving Fed credit allocation. Restricting Fed assets to Treasury securities conforms well to both principles. By extending its credit to the Treasury, the Fed minimizes its participation in private credit markets and transfers directly to the government all the revenue (net of the Fed’s operating expenses) from money creation. The authors propose that the Fed and the Treasury cooperate, under the auspices of Congress if need be, to enable the Fed to continue to rely on Treasury securities even as the publicly held debt is paid down.

Suggested Citation

Broaddus, J. Alfred and Goodfriend, Marvin, What Assets Should the Federal Reserve Buy? (November 29, 2012). FRB Richmond Economic Quarterly, vol. 87, no. 1, Winter 2001, pp. 7-22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2182613

J. Alfred Broaddus

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

P.O. Box 27622
Richmond, VA 23261
United States

Marvin Goodfriend (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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