Business: Controls on Buying?

The Federal Reserve Board last week approved a discount-rate hike from 2% to 2½% for five of its district banks, but for reasons that had little to do with the threat of inflation. The hike was not designed to tighten credit, explained the Fed, but to bring the central bank rate in line with other short-term rates. Reason: the average yield on Treasury bills has been running three-quarters of 1% above the Fed's 2% discount rate, making it possible for commercial banks to borrow from the Fed at 2% and invest in Treasury bills that pay nearly 3%. By narrowing the...

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