“The Fed could announce a federal funds target of 3% but the tsunami of excess reserves now out there swamps any conceivable demand, so the Fed funds rate would be guaranteed to remain stuck at zero. The target would be meaningless.”
~ Ryan Avent as quoted in Why the Federal Reserve wants to drain excess reserves, Dec 2009.
This is the problem for the US Federal Reserve. And now that people are talking seriously about exit strategies for the Fed, it makes sense to discuss these mechanics. Yes, I know some people are still talking about QE3, but let’s deal with that if and when the economy swoons after QE2 is over.