A LITTLE TOO DELPHIC….Today, the Fed announced they were purchasing $19 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities (or maybe $35 billion — it’s not clear). Brad DeLong takes a question from the audience:

Q: I thought the Fed only bought and sold Federal debt. This says it is intervening directly in the mortgage-backed securities market. Is this as unusual as I think it is?

A: Yes.

OK, I appreciate a terse reply as much as the next guy, but come on. Obviously this means that the market for mortgage-backed securities has pretty much tanked, but what else? Should I start buying Krugerrands? Swiss francs? Stock in companies that make stainless steel yurts? What?