Fed Extends a Number of Liquidity Programs, Scale Back Others

The Fed on Thursday announced extensions of and modifications to most of the liquidity facilities put in place to contain the global financial crisis, including swap lines with foreign central banks, which were extended to 13 of them. The agency also said it scaled back some domestic programs as the crisis subside and as markets gradually recover.

From the Fed: Conditions in financial markets have improved in recent months, but market functioning in many areas remains impaired and seems likely to be strained for some time. As a consequence, to promote financial stability and support the flow of credit to households and businesses, the Federal Reserve is extending a number of facilities through early 2010. At the same time, in light of the improvement in financial conditions and reduced usage of some facilities, the Federal Reserve is trimming the size and changing the terms of some facilities.

Specifically, the Board of Governors approved extension through February 1, 2010, of the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (AMLF), the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF), and the Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF). The expiration date for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) currently remains set at December 31, 2009. The Term Auction Facility (TAF) does not have a fixed expiration date.

The extension of the TSLF also required the approval of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), as that facility is established under the joint authority of the Board and the FOMC.

In addition, the temporary reciprocal currency arrangements (swap lines) between the Federal Reserve and other central banks have been extended to February 1. The Federal Reserve action to extend the swap lines was taken by the FOMC.

The Federal Reserve also announced changes to certain liquidity programs in light of the improvement in financial conditions and the associated reduction in usage of some facilities. Specifically, the Federal Reserve trimmed the size of upcoming TAF auctions, because the amount of credit extended under that facility has been well below the offered amount. In view of very weak demand at TSLF Schedule 1 auctions and TSLF Options Program auctions over recent months, auctions under these programs will be suspended. The frequency of Schedule 2 TSLF auctions will be reduced to one every four weeks and the offered amount will be reduced. The authorization for the Money Market Investor Funding Facility (MMIFF) was not extended, and an additional administrative criterion was established for use of the AMLF. If necessary in view of evolving market conditions, the Federal Reserve will increase the size of TAF auctions and resume TSLF operations that have been suspended.

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