Barnett, William A. (2008): What broke the bubble?
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This paper is the basis for the Guest Columnist article in the Tuesday, November 11, 2008 issue of the Kansas City Star newspaper's Business Weekly. Because of space limitations, the published newspaper column had to be shortened from the original and unfortunately did not include either of the two supporting figures. This is the unedited source article. The position taken by this opinion editorial is that the declining trend of total reserves during the recent period of financial crisis was counterproductive, and the declining level of the federal funds rate during that period was an inadequate indicator of Federal Reserve policy stance. But the recent startling surge in reserves potentially offsets the problem, although for reasons not motivated by the issues raised by this article. In fact, the reason for the surge is associated with the declining stock of Treasury bonds available to the Federal Reserve for sterilization of the effects of the new lending initiatives on bank reserves.