By Joseph Hogue
NEW YORK ( StreetAuthority) -- I have a deal for you. I am willing to lend you funds at around a quarter of a percent for a short term, say a month. I will not raise the rate each time you come back to take out a new loan and I will not interfere with how you use the funds.
The only thing I ask in return... well, I won't ask anything in return. It's pretty close to free money. Deal?
The Federal Reserve extended this offer to a select group of investment companies and has guaranteed its continuance with its most recent policy meeting. The central bank lowered its growth and inflation estimates for the U.S. economy, meaning that rock-bottom rates are here to stay until well into 2014.Also important, the Fed will continue to reinvest its incoming funds into mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, which will help support the housing market. It's a great deal if you can get it -- and you can! Not directly of course, unless you have an inside track to Bernanke & friends at the Federal Reserve, but you can participate through shares of mortgage real estate investment trusts, or mREITs.