Financial Reform Watch

Federal Reserve Announces Two New Programs to Spur Lending

The Federal Reserve announced two new programs today, committing an additional $800 billion in order to spur lending. U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson also announced that $20 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) would be used to support one of the programs. The first, worth $600 billion, is aimed at helping the housing market; and the second Fed program, worth $200 billion, is directed at thawing the frozen consumer credit markets.

The Fed announced this morning that it will "initiate a program to purchase the direct obligations of housing-related government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks—and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae." The Fed will work with "primary dealers through a series of competitive auctions" for purchases of up to $100 billion in "GSE direct obligations" beginning next week. For purchases of up to $500 billion in MBS, the Fed will select asset-managers through a competitive process and plans to start these purchases before the end of the year. The Fed said in a release that it will provide operational details after "consultation with market participants," and added that "Purchases of both direct obligations and MBS are expected to take place over several quarters."

The second program, targeted at consumer credit, also involves the TARP. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will establish the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) that will "lend up to $200 billion on a non-recourse basis to holders of certain AAA-rated ABS [asset-backed securities] backed by newly and recently originated consumer and small business loans." The TALF will support the "issuance of asset-backed securities collateralized by student loans, auto loans, credit card loans, and loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration." The Treasury Secretary committed $20 billion from the TARP to back the TALF. The TARP funds will be used to "purchase subordinated debt" issued by a New York Fed special purpose vehicle "to finance the first $20 billion of asset purchases." The New York Fed’s special purpose vehicle will be used to purchase and manage assets connected to the TALF loans.


Federal Reserve TALF Term Sheet (PDF)

TARP CPP Transactions as of 25 November 2008 (PDF)

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