Fear of a Global Bank Run… (Brad DeLong)

I know I said that I would not mind a small run on the dollar–but I said small, in order to boost exports:

The headlines are not great:



And the Fed takes another step forward. Rex Nutting and Greg Robb report:

Fed acts Sunday to prevent global bank run Monday: Acting quickly to prevent a run on major global financial firms, the Federal Reserve cut its discount rate by a quarter percentage point to 3.25% and offered to lend money to a longer list of firms than ever before. The extraordinary weekend moves came as J.P. Morgan Chase sealed a deal to buy Bear Stearns Cos. for just $2 a share backed by up to $30 billion borrowed from the Fed. The Fed board gave its approval to that unique funding arrangement, which guarantees JP Morgan against losses from buying Bear.

The Fed board also approved the creation of a special lending facility through the New York Fed that would be available to members of its primary dealers list, which includes both commercial banks and investment banks. Investment banks, such as Bear Stearns, have not been allowed to borrow directly from the Fed….

Events have unfolded at warp speed over the past week. On Tuesday, the Fed announced a new lending program for primary dealers in the bond markets, but that program won’t go into effect for two more weeks. On Friday, the Fed allowed Bear Stearns to borrow money via JP Morgan in a desperate bid to save the firm, which has been pummeled by losses on exotic securities backed by subprime mortgages.

The Federal Open Market Committee meets on Tuesday. Analysts expect the FOMC to cut the target for the federal funds rate by as much as a full percentage point to 2%. Another cut in the discount rate is also likely. The new lending program would operate for at least six months, and would offer loans for as long as 90 days…. Loans from the new program would be backed by a “broad range of investment-grade debt securities,” the Fed said. The interest rate would be the same as the discount rate.
“The Federal Reserve, in close consultation with the Treasury, is working to promote liquid, well-functioning financial markets, which are essential for economic growth,” said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in a statement. “These steps will provide financial institutions with greater assurance of access to funds”…

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