Monday, September 29, 2008

Another $630 Billion Injection from the Fed

One day I'm going to have to sit down and add it all up, but by the running tally, I have around $400 billion of cash injections so far by the Fed into the banking system, in the form of TAFs, PL... and TD..Fs...whatever alphabet soup they list it under. Today it looks like $630 can be added to whatever there was before.

There have been news reports of the LIBOR spread (London Inter-Bank Office Rate) rising, with is the market rate banks lend to one another for short term loans. Historically it is better form for banks to borrow from other banks rather than borrow from the Fed. Usually the LIBOR follows closely the Federal Funds Rate, but now it is taking off indicating banks are cash hoarding and distrustful of the creditworthiness of their fellows. Todays action is intended to unfreeze banks and keep credit liquidity flowing. Like previous bailout instruments from the Fed, it is basically releasing $630 billion in short-term cycling bonds where treasuries are exchanged for securitized debt.

This article gives some figures. Starting with this post of mine from July, we have: TAFs in 21-day cycles at $75 billion; TAFs in 84-day cycles of $25 billion; TLSFs in 28-day cycles of $200 billion; and PDCFs in overnight cycles of around $40 billion. Now, today, adding to that is an expansion of TAFs to $75 Billion in 84-day cycles; and $330 billion to foreign central banks (terms were unspecified in the article, but it's a cash swap of dollars for foreign currency). Pulling out the calculator I get $720 Billion; plus there would have been a pre-existing line of credit to foreign central banks of $290 before today, which totals $1010 billion the Fed has in short term bonds to boost liquidity in U.S. ($390 billion) and foreign ($620 billion) markets.

Please excuse any omissions or calculation errors; the exact details matter less than the point that over a trillion dollars exists in the system, backed by U.S. taxpayers, to keep the domestic and world credit economy on life support.

ADDENDUM [10/6/08]: I don't know how the AP article gets $225 billion for 84-day TAFs. It's $75 billion, and numbers were recalculated accordingly. Calculations will continue to be refined as data filters through the press.

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