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Posts Tagged ‘backstopping the swaps market’

Putting the Genie Back Inside the Bottle

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 5th, 2009 11:43 AM |

The genie, in the form of the Federal Reserve, has granted the markets a lot more than three wishes over the course of these challenging economic times. What are some of the wishes granted so far? Let’s review:

1. cutting the Federal Funds rate to a range of 0-.25%.

2. backstopping a wide array of short term funding operations, including the Commercial Paper market, Money Market funds, and Swaps market.

3. opening the Federal Reserve discount window for investment banks prior to their conversion to commercial banks.

4. utilizing a massive Quantitative Easing program to purchase government, mortgage-backed, and government agency securities in an attempt to bring interest rates down and jumpstart borrowing by consumers and corporations.

5. working in concert with the Treasury and FDIC to implement the TARP (Troubled Asset Recovery Program), TALF (Term Asset-Backed Lending Facility) and PPIP (Public-Private Investment Program).

In the process of implementing all of these activities, this genie, the Federal Reserve, in the person of chairman Ben Bernanke, has gone places no genie has ever gone before.

The question before the court is whether the free market can ever get the genie back in the bottle. Additionally, aside from getting the genie back in the bottle, these wishes granted by the genie aren’t exactly free. How so? (more…)






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