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The Fed Is Buying Mortgage-Backed Securities? Hoisted from Comments

PSP: Hoisted from Comments

Fri morning's N.Y. Times online edition:

The E.C.B. injected another 61 billion euros ($84 billion) into the banking system, after providing 95 billion euros the day before. The Federal Reserve today added $19 billion to the system through the purchase of mortgage-backed securities, then $16 billion in three-day repurchase agreements. The Fed also added money on Thursday.

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?