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The Fed can prevent default

Posted by WARREN MOSLER on July 29th, 2011

QE 0: The Fed offers to buy all Treasury securities and coupons at par at maturity

73 Responses to “The Fed can prevent default”

  1. Walter_R Says:

    How does that prevent default? Don’t Treasury securities held by the Fed still count toward the debt ceiling? Could you elaborate?

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @Walter_R,

    IMO, what he means is that near maturity (maybe a day before), the Fed offers to buy all the issues.

    Investors don’t care if its coming from the Fed or the Treasury.

    Nobody reports an event of default, except Fitch/Moody’s/S&P.

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    the fed could offer to buy on maturity date.

    ratings agencies would not call it a default of the US govt to its creditors.

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    To not be in default securities holders need to get paid by the govt on a timely basis.
    The fed offering to buy maturing securities and coupon payments on their due dates if the tsy can’t or won’t prevents default.

    Hence tsy secs remain aaa

    Reply

    Walter_R Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER, OK I see what you are saying. Default would be avoided on the Treasury securities themselves, but that doesn’t mean Treasury would be in a position to issue more securities. I conflated the two ideas but I see that they are separate. Thanks.

    Reply

  2. JKH Says:

    assuming, that with the debt ceiling frozen, cumulative maturities exceed the cumulative deficit?

    Reply

    JKH Reply:

    which I assume shouldn’t be a problem, particularly given outstanding bills

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @JKH,

    Similar point to my comment below :)

    “The Treasury still needs to issue Treasuries to finance its deficit and needs to go above the limit imposed by the debt ceiling.”

    Reply

  3. Ramanan Says:

    Not sure.

    The Treasury still needs to issue Treasuries to finance its deficit and needs to go above the limit imposed by the debt ceiling.

    It still needs to selectively default on the Fed’s holding (Yves Smith’s way of putting it) or have the Federal Reserve Board destroy the $xyz trillion in government bonds it now holds (Ron Paul’s way of putting it).

    Reply

    Ed Rombach Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    If Treasury selectively defaulted on Fed Tsy holdings, how would the credit rating agencies react? Presumably they would they declare it a default? No??? Interesting, as Ramanan points out, that this approach seems to back in Ron Paul’s recommendation to just tear up the $1.6 Trillion QE Tsy holdings.

    I know RP has few if any fans at this web site, but he is a big advocate of building coalitions with people of any political stripe who agree on specific issues. For example he is often teaming up with liberal lefty types like Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and Barney Frank. Given all the media attention he is getting, it might be time profitably spent to reach out to him on this idea.

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    wouldn’t care. it’s inter agency.

    it would still be tsy debt outstanding for purposes of the ceiling

    but with the fed patiently holding the matured debt they wouldn’t have to worry about rollover and neither would the ratings agencies.

    tsy cash flow would still fall short of appropriated spending but that’s a different matter

    Reply

    Robert Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    Regarding Treasury’s cash flow — if deficit spending continues and the Treasury wouldn’t be able to issue new treasury debt to drain the build up of excessive reserves, couldn’t the Fed step in to auction off its own ~$ 1 T holdings of treasury securities to maintain control of its interest rates?

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    control of the fed funds rate isn’t a problem. currently the rate paid on reserves determines the floor

    Ramanan Reply:

    @Ed Rombach,

    Yeah, don’t think they have the right to declare it a default but for that the Federal Reserve has to tear up the Treasury Securities.

    This is because the Federal Reserve needs to produce audited reports such as the one here.

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/annual-report/default.htm

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    yes, this addresses the downgrade and rollover issues only.

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    The Treasury is worried that selling intragovernmental holdings of Treasury securities (mostly) may lead to a “fire-sale” kind of scenario.

    http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Federal-Asset-Sales-Cannot-Avoid-Need-for-Increase-in-Debt-Limit.aspx

    The Intragovernmental Holding of Treasuries is about $4T.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ERP-2011/pdf/ERP-2011-table89.pdf
    http://federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/current/h41.pdf

    (Column 3 in the first minus “U.S. Treasury securities” in the second link)

    If such a scenario is really created by sale of Treasuries held by the Intragovernmental Holdings, the Fed can also do another QE .. in the best case – put a ceiling on the yields.

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @Unforgiven,

    Sure, looking at it.

    Reply

  4. Jan Says:

    The Fed buys all t-securities at 100 and then the Treasury buys them from the Fed at 50 for example. US debt abated?

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    that would be a payment from fed to tsy and would have probably have to be approved by congress.

    Reply

    wh10 Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    Get the MMT trifecta through!!!

    1) Mosler QE0
    2) Jumbo Coin to buy back debt and raise some new debt
    3) But also some Jumbo Coin to pay for appropriated funds

    A delicious menu of MMT possibilities and accounting fun!

    In a little more seriousness- yeah, I can see how getting this through is relatively more of a reality. Best of luck! Get some interviews and press while you’re at it :).

    Reply

  5. wh10 Says:

    Heh heh. Brilliant. Warren always with the extra angle. DUH! This stuff is fun! Don’t understand why someone wouldn’t like fiat :).

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    thanks! feeling good about this getting to the right people

    Reply

    beowulf Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    That is a great idea Warren. The most important thing, its something Bernanke can do unilaterally without waiting on Obama and Geithner to get off the mark. If the Fed announced that today, 1. investors won’t be panicking (as much) all weekend and 2. You’ve eliminated default risk. Good stuff.

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    and it’s not like the fed buying tsy secs is fringe. it’s mainstream. you’d think they’d think of it…

    anon Reply:

    holding onto bonds past maturity isn’t mainstream though

    do they accrue new interest past maturity?

    why would they fret any less over “exit strategy” than with the rest of QE? And why do you think they haven’t thought of it?

  6. Qc Says:

    Why not a combo of Beowulf/Joe Firestone and Yves Smith’s proposal?

    The Fed and the Treasury enters into a definitive swap agreement whereby the Fed exchange all its Treasury holdings for Platinum coins.

    The Treasury then turns around and destroy the treasury securities, and issues new ones to “fund” the on-going deficit.

    The change on the asset side of the Fed’s balance sheet would simply be:
    minus: Treasury securities
    plus: Platinum coins

    Almost sounds too simple to be possible…

    Reply

    wh10 Reply:

    @Qc,

    Oh Jerry, believe me, it’s possible!

    /Seinfeld

    Reply

  7. beowulf Says:

    QE -1

    The Fed had no legal obligation to rebate interest on Fed-held Treasuries when it began to do so in 1947 (apparently Texas Congressman Wright Patman was starting to understand banking operations a little too well), but it began the Tsy refunds anyway on a voluntary basis.

    Does any American need an excuse to make a civic-minded donation of property to the People of the United Stats of America? Of course not! The FRB could announce (in a dramatic policy shift) that, fair is fair, the Fed would rebate interest on any T-bond issued through the Federal Reserve system, which is to say, all of them. So even as Fed debited Tsy for net interest payments, it would instantly credit Tsy the same amount (and those IOR payments, no worries!).

    I have no idea how the Fed would book that (that’s the FRB’s problem) but if nothing else, taking net interest off-budget would cut $5 trillion off CBO’s projected deficits this decade and tens of trillions more in out decades, and that’s not nothing. :o)

    Reply

  8. Ramanan Says:

    Krugman on the platinum coin

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/lawyers-coins-and-money/

    Reply

    pebird Reply:

    @Ramanan, Wow, an idea that comes from MMT and Krugman doesn’t crap all over it. I wonder how many of his blog readers are scratching the heads, he didn’t give any explanation.

    Reply

  9. Rodger Malcolm Mitchell Says:

    Read: http://scienceblog.com/46622/minority-rules-scientists-discover-tipping-point-for-the-spread-of-ideas/

    An excerpt: “Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion. The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals.

    “When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority,” said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. “Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.”

    The Tea Party proved the point. When do we get to 10%?

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

    Reply

    geoff Reply:

    @Rodger Malcolm Mitchell,

    Very interesting. The momentum certainly seems to be there.

    Reply

  10. Walter_R Says:

    Question: Under existing law can the Fed buy the coupons without buying the underlying Treasury securities?

    Reply

    ESM Reply:

    @Walter_R,

    Yes, any Treasury can be STRIP’ed into STRIPS (Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal Securities). There are whole desks of Wall Street banks dedicated to arbitrage between the coupon-bearing Treasuries and the STRIPS (you can have the Fed STRIP or reconsitute a Treasury for a nominal fee and next day settlement).

    Reply

    Walter_R Reply:

    @ESM,

    Thanks!

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    shouldn’t be a problem as they trade separately with cusips, etc.

    Reply

  11. Ramanan Says:

    Fed cannot allow Treasury Overdrafts – recent news.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/29/usa-fed-bullard-overdrafts-idUSWEN653320110729

    Reply

    Leverage Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    This whole crisis is kinda funny and showing in what kind of regime does the western world live. So central banks can do all sort of nasty stuff to save banks, but they being public utilities can’t extend money to governments to avoid default.

    This is silly. It would make sense if they hadn’t created trillions to bail out banks, but as they haven’t all their claims of being independent are BULLSHIT. Outraging, but no news, I know.

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    the fed can lend to anyone except the tsy

    Reply

  12. anarchistas Says:

    Temporary (?) transfer of US fiscal policy responsibilities to FED?

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    Tsy executes tax and spend policy

    Qe o is not fiscal in that sense. It just insures bondholders get paid on a timely basis

    Reply

  13. Geoff Says:

    The Fed already holds a ton of Treasuries from QE 1,2 etc. Can they not simply pass a bill to subtract existing Fed holdings from total Federal debt? I do not mean destroy the Fed holdings a la Ronnie Paul. Just subtract them. Net debt.

    Reply

  14. Ramanan Says:

    Have some thoughts.. since the Fed would anyway have to tear up the bonds, they can do it directly.

    More practically, the operation could lead to a technical default.

    Normally, the Treasury also guarantees that once the issue matures, the holder who would have given their bank account details have the funds transferred to the account.

    The Federal Reserve on the other hand in plan QE0, in practice can offer to purchase all bonds maturing but cannot send a payment request to accounts by itself of the bond holder. So if someone doesn’t know of this offer, or is travelling etc., or has requested that the redemption be paid by cheque (like an old retail investor) cannot be paid by the Federal Reserve.

    The plan will work only if all holders of the issue volitionally are able to sell their securities to the Federal Reserve on a timely manner. There is an operational risk involved in this game.

    Reply

    anon Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    don’t see the operational problem

    the Fed buys the bonds on the day of maturity; makes payment via a primary dealer for example to the seller

    just like any other OMO; this one is just the day of maturity

    the Fed isn’t redeeming bonds; it’s buying them

    could do the day before maturity to make it clearer, but it doesn’t really matter when – provided that the Fed buys instead of treasury redeeming

    don’t understand this confusion about “tearing up bonds”

    the bonds don’t disappear from the Fed’s balance sheet

    they just stay there as a receivable of sorts; like a non-performing loan, still expected to be repaid

    they still have value in that sense; not torn up

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @anon,

    Thanks, clarifies my thoughts.

    What I am saying is that it may work for most bond holders not all. Such as some household holding the bond. He/she has to be contacted to sell the bond to the Fed.

    I understand the exercise is not a redemption but a purchase by the Fed.

    I brought the tearing up thing because not only does default need to be avoided, debt ceiling also has to be raised. And these two are somewhat not separable.

    If debt ceiling is not raised, default is unavoidable (with some assumptions such as no funds with the Treasury).

    For example assume that the Treasury has no funds on Aug X. The Treasury needs to pay $50B to T-bill holders. The only way it can do is by issuing more bills/bonds.

    Now, comes the Fed and purchases the $50B worth of bills so no default at this level. However, the Treasury still needs to pay the Fed and is unable to pay the Fed and the Fed has to tear up the bills.

    But the Fed can do that tearing up anyway. So why go through it route ?

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    Because if the Fed doesn’t tear up the bills, its a default – it’s not for WM, but for F/M/S&P.

    anon Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    Good thinking.

    “He/she has to be contacted to sell the bond to the Fed.”

    I think you’re right that there are operational deadlines to do this before “automatic” or “pre-programmed redemption”.

    That’s why it’s a category of OMO, IMO, like other versions of QE.

    “Because not only does default need to be avoided, debt ceiling also has to be raised. And these two are somewhat not separable”

    If the Fed rolls all existing debt into its own holdings, as it matures, and holds that debt without receiving cash principal or interest, that helps the budget deficit in terms of CASH outlays for interest, at least at the margin, on what it otherwise would have starting paying in interest on the rolled debt. Given the term structure of debt outstanding, that’s a reasonably significant proportion of total debt interest – although total debt interest itself isn’t a huge part of the deficit.

    Apart from that, the deficit continues, and the need to finance it, and pay interest on the rest of the outstanding debt, and the debt ceiling must be raised, as you say.

    “However, the Treasury still needs to pay the Fed and is unable to pay the Fed and the Fed has to tear up the bills. But the Fed can do that tearing up anyway. So why go through it route?”

    Perhaps one of us is misunderstanding this post, and it could well be me. My understanding is that the Fed purchases the maturing debt and continues to hold it as an asset, without getting payment from Treasury for either principal or interest. That debt is rolled into the reserves created by OMO, which is why it’s a form of QE. So that structure constitutes a selective default by Treasury with respect to Fed holdings. Eventually, the Fed has to be paid, or it comes out of capital.

    So the advantage seems to be that it focuses default on the Fed instead of the private sector. But you’re right – the debt ceiling still has to be raised because it does nothing to alleviate the deficit unless interest stops accruing on the Fed roll (which I’m not clear on).

    In sum, a good deal of clean up needed following from a one line post.

    But that’s a normal part of the grand master’s function.

    :)

    anon Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    Also a small marginal problem in that the Fed needs cash flow to pay interest on reserves. It won’t get any from maturing debt that it buys, which has created reserves.

    The existing portfolio can handle those reserve interest payments to a reasonable extent.

    This is one of the things that constrains the Fed’s QE strategy (including exit) more generally, in that it has to do prudent scenario planning for reserve interest payments, particularly if it wants to tighten at some point.

    anon Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    Bottom line is that the Fed thinks in all cases as if it is independent, and has to be concerned about actual accounting and the potential effect on its capital.

    Fed practitioners don’t have the luxury of pretending they’re in MMT heaven.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    My understanding is the fed can run what is functionally negative capital until congress says it can’t.

    Particularly with the accounting change of several months ago

    Ramanan Reply:

    anon,

    Good points.

    “Perhaps one of us is misunderstanding this post, and it could well be me. My understanding is that the Fed purchases the maturing debt and continues to hold it as an asset, without getting payment from Treasury for either principal or interest”

    Yeah I agree, the Fed holds it and receives no principal or interest at least on time, so both of us seem actually in sync.

    My point is that it may be termed a technical “default” – though not necessarily an issue, but provided the Fed is open to playing such games.

    The point about tearing up is not necessarily different, it leaves less possibility of a default being declared compared to the case where the Fed continues to hold the bond, though the chances of the event of nonpayment to the Fed in the latter being termed as an event of default is less itself (but non-zero since its unclear to me).

    Tearing up also provides the Treasury with more comfort as it reduces the public debt (as defined by by the debt ceiling rules) and the Treasury can continue to issue more Treasuries to the markets.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    The rating agencies would consolidate the US govt. for ratings purposes.

    For example, they don’t count taxes withheld by govt from employees as revenue.

    anon Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    ?

    tearing it up is a big difference

    means negative capital

    Ramanan Reply:

    “Fed practitioners don’t have the luxury of pretending they’re in MMT heaven.”

    :) :)

    “Bottom line is that the Fed thinks in all cases as if it is independent, and has to be concerned about actual accounting and the potential effect on its capital.”

    Yeah, they will be slightly hesitant about taking such a bold step.

    “Also a small marginal problem in that the Fed needs cash flow to pay interest on reserves. It won’t get any from maturing debt that it buys, which has created reserves.”

    I think for that Warren Mosler will argue that the Fed simply credits banks’ accounts and can continue to do so without worrying about its capital.

    But think about it in general – a bank could pay interest on its deposits even though the loans are not performing well and in the extreme case the interest income is much less than the interest which needs to be paid to depositors at the end of the quarter and that other activity of this bank is less (so other sources of income is almost zero/less). There can be a scenario where it is adequately capitalized but not profitable in one period. It can still continue to pay depositors because it simply pays electronically and the bank is able to borrow in the interbank markets for normal deposit outflows.

    Ramanan Reply:

    anon,

    “tearing it up is a big difference

    means negative capital”

    Okay I am assuming here that that is not a worry factor which is not the best assumption.

    anon Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    “which is not the best assumption”

    all bankers pay attention to their capital levels

    everything is marginal

    government debt residual maturities are normally heavily weighted at the front end, because they issue a variety of maturities (think about it)

    so that creates a lot of reserve replacement and reserve interest liability

    and they have to think about rates going up eventually

    anon Reply:

    “My understanding is the fed can run what is functionally negative capital until congress says it can’t particularly with the accounting change of several months ago”

    very good point that I neglected, thx

    so you were righter than me on that Ramanan

    vjk Reply:

    “My understanding is the fed can run what is functionally negative”

    Not sure that is the case. The Feds re-categorized losses as negative “Interest on Federal Reserve notes due to U.S. Treasury” which allows to postpone remittance to the Treasury until such account goes positive. For the first time the account went negative in July I believe. However, it is not negative enough to make the sum of “capital” + the new account negative too.

    It is easy to add the two numbers and see whether the feds are insolvent or not, though. Not sure if there is an operational road-map of what happens after the sum does go negative.

    anon Reply:

    no, I think Warren is functionally correct :)

    the sum doesn’t need to go negative

    the room for a negative liability is pretty much open ended

    the negative liability is part of “functional” capital but not formal capital

    the whole point is to avoid formal capital going negative

    so formal capital stays positive while the negative liability expands

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    Yes

    Reply

    anon Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    “… argue that the Fed simply credits banks’ accounts and can continue to do so without worrying about its capital.”

    Fed practitioners pay attention to their capital, like all bankers in the real world.

    Of course, all banks credit bank accounts with interest.

    But its a debit to capital.

    It matters.

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @anon,

    Yes, they do look and worry about it but weren’t the rules changed for them to worry less about it ?

    Also, why would they really need to worry about it in general ? They should be worrying more about the collateral they accept for lending and those things.

    Does acceptability of currency really have to do with central bank maintaining positive capital ?

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    The fed does the transfer of funds from tsy to security holder

    It can say that an NSF in the tsy account will result in an automatic purchase by the fed so the bond holder doesn’t even notice

    Reply

  15. vjk Says:

    Ramanan @ July 30th, 2011 at 11:10 am:

    “Yeah I agree, the Fed holds it and receives no principal or interest at least on time, so both of us seem actually in sync. ”

    If the bondholder “receives no principal or interest at least on time”, it’s called a default. In the current arrangement, with Feds as the bondholder, the default would occur. Does not matter who is the bondholder, your grandma or the Feds.

    Remember, the Feds do not “not receive interest on bond holdings”. They do, they just remit excess (minus expenditures) back to the Treasury.

    The above looks rather elementary, so I surely must be missing something in “the Feds not receiving principal or interest” — in the current reality.

    If you propose to change the existing rules of the shell game, that’s another matter.

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @vjk,

    Don’t disagree with you. Wondering if it matters to S&P.

    The important thing in the post being that the non-government sector holding is not defaulted on.

    “The above looks rather elementary, so I surely must be missing something in “the Feds not receiving principal or interest” — in the current reality.”

    Since the politicians seem to be on a road to ruin, I am merely considering possibilities where the Fed can do something about it and giving it the benefit of doubt.

    Consider for example the Eurosystem, where the ECB seems to be open about considering accepting defaulted Greek bond as collateral.

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @vjk,

    “Remember, the Feds do not “not receive interest on bond holdings”. They do, they just remit excess (minus expenditures) back to the Treasury.”

    In the scenario under discussion, the Fed accepts to not having receiving interest and principal. I know in general, they receive interest on bond holdings.

    Reply

    vjk Reply:

    @Ramanan,

    “In the scenario under discussion, the Fed accepts to not having receiving interest and principal”

    If ever, it’s equivalent to default.

    If for the time being, it’s equivalent to having an overdraft option.

    A rose by any other name — notwithstanding S&P, investors are not that stupid.

    Not willing to beat the dead hoarse ghost, you and anon are much better at it :)

    Reply

    Ramanan Reply:

    @vjk,

    No overdraft here.

    If investors manage to get paid, they are happy.

    If the Fed had better nerves, it can indeed carry out the operation, because the Fed understands the silliness of the whole issue of the debt ceiling.

    Ben Bernanke can put his own ceiling

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/BOARDDOCS/SPEECHES/2002/20021121/default.htm


    … A more direct method, which I personally prefer, would be for the Fed to begin announcing explicit ceilings for yields on longer-maturity Treasury debt (say, bonds maturing within the next two years). The Fed could enforce these interest-rate ceilings by committing to make unlimited purchases of securities up to two years from maturity at prices consistent with the targeted yields.

    .. which is on a different issue but he knows the Fed’s power.

    I thing your assumption is that the Fed would simply not act on the whole issue.

    Doesn’t hurt discussing things like this.

    Also, note .. in case of a default, its not like a corporate defaulting where investors won’t get the money back .. or the recovery is like 40% .. CDS pricers’ assumption.

    vjk Reply:

    “The Fed could enforce these interest-rate ceilings by committing to make unlimited purchases of securities up to two years from maturity at prices consistent with the targeted yields.”

    I doubt it, wrt. longer maturities, what with alternative securities of similar tenor, but that’s another discussion altogether.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    it doesn’t allow the tsy to draw funds to deficit spend.

    tsy is still limited to spending only revenues, with deficit spending limited to the debt ceiling which includes secs held by the fed

  16. Ramanan Says:

    @vjk,

    “I doubt it, wrt. longer maturities, what with alternative securities of similar tenor, but that’s another discussion altogether.”

    Vjk,

    Yes, another discussion altogether, but the Fed has indeed such operations in the past… but anyways 1947 … 25 year was pegged to 2.5% annual yield and the Fed had to sell bonds because bond prices started to rise.

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mw2230/jmcb.pdf

    Reply

  17. wh10 Says:

    Any updates on the status of this proposal getting through to the Fed/DC?

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    no word back. may be moot with the latest bill about to pass

    Reply

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