Informing the public about the Federal Reserve
What is the Federal Reserve's maturity extension program (referred to by some as "operation twist") and what is its purpose?
Under the maturity extension program, the Federal Reserve intends to sell or redeem a total of $667 billion of shorter-term Treasury securities by the end of 2012 and use the proceeds to buy longer-term Treasury securities. This will extend the average maturity of the securities in the Federal Reserve's portfolio.
By reducing the supply of longer-term Treasury securities in the market, this action should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, including rates on financial assets that investors consider to be close substitutes for longer-term Treasury securities. The reduction in longer-term interest rates, in turn, will contribute to a broad easing in financial market conditions that will provide additional support for the economic recovery.