Still trying to shore up the mortgage market, participants in the meeting last month of the Federal Reserve Board's policymaking open market committee were divided over whether to buy mortgage-backed securities tied to adjustable-rate mortgages.

"Some thought it would be useful to include agency ARM MBS, noting that doing so could reduce the unusually large spreads between ARM rates and yields on similar-duration Treasury securities — spreads that were far larger than the comparable spreads on fixed-rate mortgages," according to minutes of the Fed's August meeting released on Wednesday. "Others saw little potential benefit, given the small stock and limited issuance of ARM MBS, and were hesitant to involve the Federal Reserve in another market segment."

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