The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a "Statement to Revise Terms of Overnight Fixed-Rate Reverse Repurchase Agreement Operational Exercise", which extended its trial repo program with money funds and cash investors by a year and which increased the allotments for investors to $5 billion from $3 billion. The NY Fed says, "As noted in the October 19, 2009, Statement Regarding Reverse Repurchase Agreements, the Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) has been working internally and with market participants on operational aspects of tri-party reverse repurchase agreements (RRPs) to ensure that this tool will be ready to support the monetary policy objectives of the Federal Open Market Committee (Committee). RRPs are a tool that can be used for managing money market interest rates, and are expected to provide the Federal Reserve with greater control over short-term rates."

They explain, "In further support of this goal, the Committee has authorized the Desk to continue the exercise established in September 2013 of offering daily overnight RRPs and to modify the terms. Specifically, the authorization to conduct this exercise was extended one year, through January 30, 2015. Effective with the operation to be announced tomorrow, Thursday, January 30, 2014, the maximum allotment cap will be increased to $5 billion per counterparty per day from its current level of $3 billion per counterparty per day. It is expected that, over the coming months, the maximum allotment cap may be increased further."

The Fed statement continues, "The fixed rate for these auctions continues to be authorized between 0 and 5 basis points. The current fixed rate for the operations will be maintained at 0.03 percent (three basis points). All other terms of the operations will remain the same. The operations will remain open to all eligible RRP counterparties, will use Treasury collateral, will settle same-day, and will have an overnight tenor. The RRP operations will continue to be held from 12:45 pm to 1:15 pm (Eastern Time). Future changes to the maximum bid amount and rate for these RRP operations, or any other key parameter, will be announced with at least one business day prior notice on the New York Fed's website."

They add, "Like earlier operational readiness exercises, this work is a matter of prudent advance planning by the Federal Reserve. These operations do not represent a change in the stance of monetary policy, and no inference should be drawn about the timing of any change in the stance of monetary policy in the future. The results of these operations will be posted on the public website of the New York Fed, together with the results for other temporary open market operations. The outstanding amounts of RRPs are reported as a factor absorbing reserves in Table 1 in the Federal Reserve's H.4.1 statistical release, their remaining maturity is reported in table 2 of that release, and they are reported as liability items in Tables 8 and 9 of that release."

In other news, the Federal Reserve also announced a continuation of its "tapering" and its zero-rate interest policy. The Fed's Statement says, "Taking into account the extent of federal fiscal retrenchment since the inception of its current asset purchase program, the Committee continues to see the improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions over that period as consistent with growing underlying strength in the broader economy. In light of the cumulative progress toward maximum employment and the improvement in the outlook for labor market conditions, the Committee decided to make a further measured reduction in the pace of its asset purchases. Beginning in February, the Committee will add to its holdings of agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $30 billion per month rather than $35 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $35 billion per month rather than $40 billion per month."

The Fed adds, "To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends and the economic recovery strengthens. The Committee also reaffirmed its expectation that the current exceptionally low target range for the federal funds rate of 0 to 1/4 percent will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored. In determining how long to maintain a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy, the Committee will also consider other information, including additional measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial developments. The Committee continues to anticipate, based on its assessment of these factors, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6-1/2 percent, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee's 2 percent longer-run goal. When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent."

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