Yellen: Fed balance sheet to take years to shrink

AP News
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Posted: Sep 17, 2014 3:23 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says "it could take until the end of the decade" to shrink the Fed's record investment portfolio to more normal levels.

The Fed's response to the 2008 financial crisis has swollen its balance sheet to more than $4.4 trillion from less than $1 trillion roughly six years ago. Fed officials responded to the downturn in the economy with three rounds of bond purchases to try to hold down long-term borrowing rates to spur spending.

The Fed plans to end its latest round of buying Treasurys and mortgage bonds after its next meeting in October. It would then look to reduce its balance sheet once it begins raising a key short-term rate from its record low near zero.