GOOD DAY FOR: Fed funds, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Reserve is asking Congress to allow it to issue its own debt to give it greater flexibility in dealing with the financial crisis. The Fed can print money until it runs out of ink, but the Treasury Department has jurisdiction over issuing government debt. With the Fed’s benchmark interest rate at 1 percent, it may be looking for more tools. (Reuters)
BAD DAY FOR: Investor confidence, after the U.S. Treasury auctioned off $30 billion in four-week T-bills at a yield of zero percent—buyers will get no profit when the bills mature—the same day that 3-month T-bills briefly traded on the secondary market with a -0.01 percent yield, meaning that buyers will lose money in the transaction. “We were all watching it agog,” said Treasury spokesman Steve Meyerhardt. The last time short-term Treasury yields were negative was in the 1930s. (Los Angeles Times)
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