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The Fed Inches Closer To Tapering, But Says Little About Balance Sheet Normalization

As expected, following its most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the U.S. Federal Reserve moved closer to commencing the tapering of its asset purchases. We now see this process starting around the end of 2021 and lasting for about one year. At that point, bond purchases will hit zero. That will clear the way for the Fed funds rate to lift off from the effective lower bound in early 2023, with a long-run rate of around 2.50%. While these are clear milestones on the path to policy normalization, the narrative strikes us as incomplete. The ultimate size of the balance sheet is missing.


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