The Federal Reserve said on Monday, March 23, that it is committed to using its full range of tools to support households, businesses, and the U.S. economy as the CCP Virus pandemic is causing tremendous hardship across the United States and around the world.
Citing severe disruptions the economy will face, the Fed said aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate.
The Fed announced a barrage of actions to help markets function more efficiently amid the crisis caused by the CCP Virus.
Among the actions is a commitment to continue purchasing Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities “in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy.”
Just one week earlier, the Fed announced it would purchase at least $500 billion of Treasurys securities and at least $200 billion of mortgage-backed securities.
The U.S. central bank will also move into corporate bonds for the first time, purchasing the investment-grade securities in primary and secondary markets and through U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds.
The Fed will establish a third facility, the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), to support the flow of credit to consumers and businesses. TALF will enable the issuance of asset-backed securities (ABS) backed by student loans, auto loans, credit card loans, loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and certain other assets.
Soon, the Fed expects to announce the establishment of a Main Street Business Lending Program to support lending to eligible small- and medium-sized businesses, complementing efforts by the SBA.
“These actions will provide support to a wide range of markets and institutions, thereby supporting the flow of credit in the economy,” the Fed said.
Monday’s announcement is the most aggressive market intervention the Fed has made to date, according to CNBC.
In the initial reaction to the CCP Virus outbreak, the central bank last week also lowered the target range for the federal funds rate to 0% to 0.25% from a previous range of 1% to 1.25%.