The Fed pumps another $75 billion into markets and says more cash is on the way

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • The Federal Reserve ended the week with yet another attempt to calm money markets and an announcement that more injections were on the way.
  • The central bank pumped another $75 billion into financial markets Friday and announced a schedule for further repo operations.
  • This week marked the first time the central bank had taken such steps since the global financial crisis 10 years ago.
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The Federal Reserve ended the week with yet another attempt to calm money markets and an announcement that more injections were on the way.

After pumping another $75 billion into financial markets Friday, the New York Federal Reserve announced it would continue special operations in an attempt to keep interest rates in their intended range. Short-term rates had shot up as high as 10% at the beginning of the week, threatening to disrupt the bond market and the overall lending system.

The central bank said it would offer a series of daily and 14-day term overnight repurchase agreements, or repos, in the coming weeks for an aggregate amount of at least $30 billion each. It also announced daily repos for an aggregate amount of at least $75 billion each until October 10.

After that point, policymakers planned to “conduct operations as necessary to help maintain the federal funds rate in the target range, the amounts and timing of which have not yet been determined.”

In three separate market operations Tuesday through Thursday, the central bank had offered a total of $203 billion in repos. This week marked the first time the central bank had taken such steps since the global financial crisis 10 years ago.

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There remained debate around the exact reason the amount of cash banks have on hand for short-term funding needs dried up early this week. But the shortage came after businesses had to pay quarterly tax bills at the same time that the Treasury issued billions in new bonds.

The latest actions came days after the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee cut its benchmark interest rate to a target range of between 1.75% and 2%. Fed Chairman Jay Powell said Wednesday the repo operations had been temporary and that rates were expected to return to the target range.

“Funding pressures in money markets were elevated this week, and the effective federal funds rate rose above the top of its target range,” he said. “While these issues are important for market functioning and market participants, they have no implications for the economy or the stance of monetary policy.”

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NY Fed