Fed takes action to help companies secure short-term financing in the commercial paper market
The Federal Reserve said on Tuesday it was helping companies struggling to get the short-term financing they need to operate.
In a movement eagerly awaited on Wall Street, the bank announced a special credit facility to purchase corporate paper from issuers who are struggling to find buyers in the open market. Corporate paper involves unsecured short-term loans essential to business financing.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a morning press conference that the program could total $ 1,000 billion, although he doesn’t expect it to reach that level.
“It’s a crucial market for short-term business loans, and if you don’t get that short-term loan, you can’t make payments, you can’t pay your employees, you can’t pay. your customers, “Randall Kroszner, a former Fed governor, told CNBC.” If this freezes, that’s a real problem. “
The market froze during the 2008 financial crisis, and the Fed was then tasked with finding a way to restart operations.
The one-day facility announced on Tuesday falls under emergency powers 13 (3) of the Federal Reserve Act and will involve a three-month paperwork for qualifying businesses. The cost will be the three-month overnight indexed swap rate plus 200 points.
For financing, the New York Fed creates what’s called a special purpose vehicle that is guaranteed by the Treasury Department for $ 10 billion.
The move comes amid several other aggressive policy steps the Fed has taken in recent days.
More particularly, the the central bank lowered its benchmark borrowing rate to near zero in an emergency measure announced on Sunday. The Fed also announced on Sunday that it would implement an additional $ 700 billion in treasury bill and mortgage-backed securities purchases.
On Monday and Tuesday, the Fed also announced new injections into the day-to-day loan market known as repo where banks go for their short term financing transactions.