Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and three other central banks moved in concert to alleviate a credit squeeze threatening global growth, in the biggest act of international economic cooperation since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The Fed said in a statement it will make up to $24 billion available to the ECB and Swiss National Bank to increase the supply of dollars in Europe. The Fed also plans four auctions, including two this month that will add as much as $40 billion, to increase cash in the U.S.
Central bankers took the action after interest-rate reductions in the U.S., U.K. and Canada failed to allay concerns that banks will reduce lending, sending the U.S. into recession and hobbling growth abroad. Borrowing costs have climbed as mounting losses on securities linked to subprime mortgages caused lenders to conserve cash.
``This is shock and awe,'' said Fred Goodwin, a fixed- income strategist at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in London. ``The fact that it's coordinated means they have joined together in the war to attack the problem, which is that banks don't trust each other.''
A Fed official told reporters that the U.S. central bank's efforts won't add net liquidity to the banking system. The plans are aimed at buttressing so-called term funding markets, such as for one-month loans, rather than overnight cash. The Fed will balance its various operations, including daily repurchases of Treasury notes and direct loans to banks.
Bank of England
The Bank of England increased the size of reserves it will auction in money market operations and widened the range of collateral it will accept on three-month loans.
Posted by Southofdub at 10:26 AM