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Frequently Asked Questions about the Financial Crisis

How has the financial crisis affected the Fed’s monetary policy?

The financial crisis has interfered with the Fed's ability to operate a conventional monetary policy. Lender-of-last-resort measures have been a primary focus. The FOMC has reduced its target for t...
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With the federal funds rate near zero, is monetary policy still relevant?

Monetary policy remains potent. Even with the fed funds rate at zero, the Fed can continue to influence financial markets and the economy through open market operations and various lending programs...
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Recent News

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announces an Auto Supplier Support Program that will provide up to $5 billion in financing to the automotive industry. The Supplier Support Program will provide selected suppliers with financial protection on monies ("receivables") they are owed by domestic auto companies and the opportunity to access immediate liquidity against those obligations. Receivables created with respect to goods shipped after March 19, 2009, will be eligible for the program. Any domestic auto company is eligible to participate in the program. Any U.S.-based supplier that ships to a participating auto manufacturer on qualifying commercial terms may be eligible to participate in the program.

The Federal Reserve Board announces an expansion of the eligible collateral for loans extended by the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) to include asset-backed securities backed by mortgage servicing advances, loans or leases related to business equipment, leases of vehicle fleets, and floorplan loans. The new categories of collateral will be eligible for the April TALF funding.

The FOMC votes to maintain the target range for the effective federal funds at 0 to 0.25 percent. In addition, the FOMC decides to increase the size of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet by purchasing up to an additional $750 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities, bringing its total purchases of these securities to up to $1.25 trillion this year, and to increase its purchases of agency debt this year by up to $100 billion to a total of up to $200 billion. The FOMC also decides to purchase up to $300 billion of longer-term Treasury securities over the next six months to help improve conditions in private credit markets. Finally, the FOMC announces that it anticipates expanding the range of eligible collateral for the TALF (Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility).

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James Bullard's Web Site Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis