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The FOMC doesn’t seem to treat the swap lines any differently than the domestic lending arrangements:

In view of a further widening in financial market strains internationally, the Committee considered proposals to establish temporary reciprocal currency (“swap”) arrangements with several additional foreign central banks. Members unanimously approved the following resolution, which effectively permitted the Foreign Currency Subcommittee to establish a swap line with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

“The FOMC amends paragraph 1.A. of the Authorization for Foreign Currency Operations to include the New Zealand dollar in the list of foreign currencies in which the Federal Reserve Bank of New York may transact for the System Open Market Account.”

Meeting participants also discussed a proposal to set up temporary liquidity-related swap arrangements with the central banks of Mexico, Brazil, Korea, and Singapore. In their remarks, participants focused on the outlook for complementarity between these swaps and the new short-term liquidity facility that the International Monetary Fund was considering; on the governance and structure of the swap lines; and on the particular countries included. Several participants pointed to the international reserves held by the countries and the importance of ensuring that these temporary swap lines, like the others that had been established during this period, be used only for the purposes intended. On balance, the Committee concluded that in current circumstances the swap arrangements with these four large and systemically important economies were appropriate, and it unanimously approved the following resolutions.

“The FOMC directs the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to establish and maintain a reciprocal currency arrangement (“swap arrangement”) for the System Open Market Account with each of (i) the Banco Central do Brasil, (ii) the Bank of Korea, (ii) the Banco de Mexico, and (iv) the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Each such swap arrangement would be for an aggregate amount not to exceed $30 billion. Drawings under the arrangement require approval. Unless extended by the Committee, each such swap arrangement shall expire on April 30, 2009.

The FOMC amends paragraph 1.A. of the Authorization for Foreign Currency Operations to include the Brazilian real, the Korean won, and the Singapore dollar in the list of foreign currencies in which the Federal Reserve Bank of New York may transact for the System Open Market Account.

The FOMC delegates to the Foreign Currency Subcommittee the authority to approve individual drawing requests of up to $5 billion under each of the aforementioned swap arrangements with the Banco Central do Brasil, the Bank of Korea, the Banco de Mexico, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.”

In addition, to address the sizable demand for dollar funding in foreign jurisdictions, the FOMC authorized the expansion of its existing swap lines with the European Central Bank and Swiss National Bank; by the end of the intermeeting period, the formal quantity limits on these lines had been eliminated. The quantity limits were also lifted on new swap lines set up with the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England. The FOMC authorized new swap lines with five other central banks during the period. In domestic markets, the Federal Reserve raised the regular auction amounts of the 28- and 84-day maturity Term Auction Facility (TAF) auctions to $150 billion each. Also, the Federal Reserve announced two forward TAF auctions for $150 billion each, to be conducted in November to provide funding over year-end. In total, up to $900 billion of TAF credit over year-end was authorized.

Despite the substantial provision of liquidity by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, functioning in many credit markets remained very poor, a situation that reflected market participants’ uncertainty about their liquidity needs and their future access to funding as well as concerns about the health of many financial institutions. To strengthen confidence in U.S. financial institutions, the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a joint statement on October 14, which included several elements. First, the Treasury announced a voluntary capital purchase plan under which eligible financial institutions could sell preferred shares to the U.S. government. Second, the FDIC provided a temporary guarantee of the senior unsecured debt of all FDIC-insured institutions and their holding companies, as well as all balances in non-interest-bearing transaction deposit accounts. The statement included notice that nine major financial institutions had agreed to participate in both the capital purchase program and the FDIC guarantee program. Third, the Federal Reserve announced details of the CPFF, which was scheduled to begin on October 27. After this joint statement and the announcements of similar programs in a number of other countries, financial market pressures appeared to ease somewhat, though conditions remained strained.

The expansion of existing liquidity facilities as well as the creation of new facilities contributed to a notable increase in the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet. The amount of primary credit outstanding rose considerably over the intermeeting period, with both foreign and domestic depository institutions making use of the discount window. TAF credit outstanding more than doubled over the period. Credit extended through the Primary Dealer Credit Facility rose rapidly ahead of quarter-end; although it subsided subsequently, the amount of credit outstanding remained well above the levels seen before mid-September. The Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF) auctions conducted over the intermeeting period had very high demand; in addition, dealers exercised most of the options for TSLF loans spanning the September quarter-end.


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