Federal Reserve takes QE2 on final lap
The Federal Reserve's unprecedented Treasury-bond buying program, otherwise known as QE2, made its final offering Friday. The program doesn't officially end until June 30, but the Fed's final transaction marks a turning point for the economy as analysts wait to observe life after QE2. The Fed implemented the $600 billion, Treasury bond buying program in November to stimulate an anemic economy. The agency's final weeks of quantitative easing are expected to reach $62 billion, analysts at FTN Financial said. While June 30 is officially the end of QE2, economists see its effects remaining, at least for a little while. "QE 2 will not end abruptly at June 30," FTN Financial said in a report Friday. "After effects will linger well into July and possibly into August. First, as the buyback accumulation moved toward $1 trillion this spring, the amounts tendered for purchase got progressively smaller in the critical 4-year to 10-year maturities. "Reducing the buybacks would be more damaging if there were an immediate supply of Treasuries that wanted to sell into the Fed’s bid," the report said. "Unlike 2009, there has not been too much purchase of new issues at the auctions to sell them back to the Fed several weeks later." Economists earlier in the year suggested the end of QE2 will not be a dramatic turning event, with some predicting additional efforts by the Fed to inject liquidity into the nation's monetary supply. Write to Kerri Panchuk.