Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. Andre Gide


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Fed's "Bailout" List Disclosed

I know that a number of you suspicious types have been waiting for this moment. I have written about the Fed's disclosure practices in the past; see, for example, here. In a nutshell, I think that disclosure is desirable, though not necessarily in real time (e.g., during a financial crisis). In any case, we have this from the Fed today:

The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday posted detailed information on its public website about more than 21,000 individual credit and other transactions conducted to stabilize markets during the recent financial crisis, restore the flow of credit to American families and businesses, and support economic recovery and job creation in the aftermath of the crisis.

Many of the transactions, conducted through a variety of broad-based lending facilities, provided liquidity to financial institutions and markets through fully secured, mostly short-term loans. Purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) supported mortgage and housing markets, lowered longer-term interest rates, and fostered economic growth. Dollar liquidity swap lines with foreign central banks helped stabilize dollar funding markets abroad, thus contributing to the restoration of stability in U.S. markets. Other transactions provided liquidity to particular institutions whose disorderly failure could have severely stressed an already fragile financial system.

As financial conditions have improved, the need for the broad-based facilities has dissipated, and most were closed earlier this year. The Federal Reserve followed sound risk-management practices in administering all of these programs, incurred no credit losses on programs that have been wound down, and expects to incur no credit losses on the few remaining programs. These facilities were open to participants that met clearly outlined eligibility criteria; participation in them reflected the severe market disruptions during the financial crisis and generally did not reflect participants' financial weakness.

The full press release and a link to financial transaction data is available here. I haven't had time to look through the data, but if you find anything interesting, please let me know! (I notice that information relating to the Fed's discount window operations is not available...not sure why).

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