Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Banks borrow record $112B from Fed

Credit crisis sends commercial banks to Federal Reserve for $112 billion in average daily borrowings.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer

If the U.S. enacts a second stimulus plan, what should be its top priority?
  • Extending unemployment benefits
  • Expanding food stamp program
  • Rebate checks to taxpayers
  • Help for small businesses

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- With sources of credit still largely frozen, banks borrowed a record amount from the Federal Reserve in the past week, according to Fed data released Thursday.

The Fed reported that commercial banks borrowed a record $111.9 billion a day, on average, from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending window over the past week. That's up $6.1 billion from the $105.8 billion they borrowed in the previous week.

"Banks literally have an open checkbook to acquire cheap liquidity," said Matt McCormick, portfolio manager at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Council. "Borrowing will continue until morale improves."

Investment banks, meanwhile, borrowed $87.4 billion a day, on average, down $23.9 billion from $111.3 billion a week ago. Some analysts believe that investment banks are borrowing less as the federal government gears up its program to invest up to $250 billion in banks.

Meanwhile, legions of financial institutions have turned to the Federal Reserve for funds, as the traditional source of lending from private banks dried up after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in mid-September.

"The last resort is always the Fed, and that's where they're going to," McCormick noted.

As a result, the federal government has instituted several programs aimed at easing funding concerns for banks and encouraging lending between financial institutions. These include measures such as lowering interest rates, injecting capital into banks and providing insurance on all non-interest bearing accounts.

One such program, the Fed's Commercial Paper Funding Facility, has helped lower borrowing rates and provided critical short-term financing to businesses in desperate need of cash. The Fed said it has bought up $143.9 billion in commercial paper since the program began Monday.

Many of these programs have only recently come online, and analysts say it will take time for the new initiatives to reduce the lending stranglehold currently gripping banks.

"The unprecedented amount of liquidity coming from the Fed and Treasury will find a home eventually, and that will be good for the market," said McCormick. "It's taking a bit longer than the industry wants, but down the road it will make a significant impact across the board." To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the best beaches near airports Wait out your layover in the transit lounge? Or grab some sun, sand and surf? More
World's Top Employers for New Grads For an exclusive CNNMoney list, research firm Universum Global surveyed business students at colleges around the world to see where they most want to work. More
A White House press briefing as told by CNN's sketch artist The White House started banning cameras during some briefings, so CNN sent in sketch artist Bill Hennessy. More
Sponsors