What the Fed's "quantitative tightening" mission could mean for the markets

As the Federal Reserve's initiative to remove potentially trillions of dollars

the financial markets gathers momentum, the worst stock market year since 2008 could still get worse.

The Fed has moved to reduce its stockpile of over $9 trillion in U.S. government bonds,

a practise known as quantitative tightening, opening a second front in its battle against inflation.

It increased the rate at which it is selling its holdings in September, to around $100 billion per month.

The Fed has also kept short-term interest rates rising, and on

Wednesday it announced its third straight 0.75 percentage point increase.

The Fed's sole prior effort to raise interest rates and reduce its stockpile of government bonds coincided