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Plans for Reducing the Size of the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet

May 4, 2022 / Source: FRB

Consistent with the Principles for Reducing the Size of the Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet that were issued in January 2022, all Committee participants agreed to the following plans for significantly reducing the Federal Reserve's securities holdings.

  • The Committee intends to reduce the Federal Reserve's securities holdings over time in a predictable manner primarily by adjusting the amounts reinvested of principal payments received from securities held in the System Open Market Account (SOMA). Beginning on June 1, principal payments from securities held in the SOMA will be reinvested to the extent that they exceed monthly caps.
    • For Treasury securities, the cap will initially be set at $30 billion per month and after three months will increase to $60 billion per month. The decline in holdings of Treasury securities under this monthly cap will include Treasury coupon securities and, to the extent that coupon maturities are less than the monthly cap, Treasury bills.
    • For agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, the cap will initially be set at $17.5 billion per month and after three months will increase to $35 billion per month.
  • Over time, the Committee intends to maintain securities holdings in amounts needed to implement monetary policy efficiently and effectively in its ample reserves regime.
    • To ensure a smooth transition, the Committee intends to slow and then stop the decline in the size of the balance sheet when reserve balances are somewhat above the level it judges to be consistent with ample reserves.
    • Once balance sheet runoff has ceased, reserve balances will likely continue to decline for a time, reflecting growth in other Federal Reserve liabilities, until the Committee judges that reserve balances are at an ample level.
    • Thereafter, the Committee will manage securities holdings as needed to maintain ample reserves over time.
  • The Committee is prepared to adjust any of the details of its approach to reducing the size of the balance sheet in light of economic and financial developments.

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