This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 09 April 2020

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/Apr 10, 2020

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 09 April 2020

The Fed Goes Nuclear: Part II 

The Federal Reserve announced a series of measures this morning that are intended to assist households, businesses and state & local governments as they cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Fed estimates that the programs will provide an additional  $2.3 trillion worth of financial support. The Federal Reserve provided details today of a new program it foreshadowed when it announced a series of measures on March 23, which we discussed in a report we wrote that day. The Fed also expanded some of the programs that it put in place on March 23. We welcome these measures because they should provide further liquidity support to capital markets and help businesses that may be struggling to stay afloat while many parts of the economy remain on lock down.

 

The most important new measure is the Main Street Lending Program, which the Fed noted on March 23 would be forthcoming. The program will make four-year loans to businesses that have up to 10,000 employees or revenues of less than $2.5 billion. The businesses must have been “in good financial standing” before the crisis, and they must commit to make “reasonable efforts” to maintain payrolls and retain workers. Businesses will receive loans from commercial banks, which will retain a 5% stake and sell the remaining 95% to the Main Street Lending facility, which will purchase up to $600 billion in loans. The idea behind the Fed buying 95% of the loans is so that banks can keep as much room as possible on their balance sheets for additional lending. The Fed will defer principal and interest payments for one year. The facility is being capitalized by a $75 billion equity position that is provided by the U.S. Treasury Department via funding from the CARES Act.




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