Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet Jumps to $3.994 Trillion

The Federal Reserve’s record balance sheet neared $4 trillion as the central bank amasses Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to help lower long-term interest rates to spur economic growth.

Assets rose $61.3 billion to $3.994 trillion in the past week, the Fed said in a weekly report. The third round of so-called quantitative easing involving $85 billion in monthly bond buying began in September last year and was increased in December 2012. The Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to meet Dec. 17-18 to discuss whether to scale back the asset purchases.

The balance sheet has increased from $869 billion in August 2007, when credit markets started to freeze.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brendan Murray in Washington at brmurray@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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