Banks Rush to Borrow $164.8 Billion from Fed to Boost Liquidity

Banks worried about liquidity received a total of $164.8 billion in loans from the Fed in the past week following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Banks borrowed a combined $164.8 billion from the Fed’s two support facilities in the latest week, a sign of escalating funding pressures following the Silicon Valley bank’s collapse.

According to the Fed data, $152.85 billion was borrowed from the discount window for the bank’s traditional liquidity backstop in the March 15 weekend, recording a high of $4.58 billion the previous week. The last all-time high was $111 billion during the 2008 financial crisis.

Besides, $11.9 billion was borrowed from the Fed’s new emergency backstop, the Bank Term Funding Programme, launched on Sunday.

Overall, the credit extended through the two backstops shows that the banking system remains fragile and deals with deposit migration following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank of California and Signature Bank of New York last week.

Other credit extensions estimated $142.8 billion during the week, reflecting the Federal Deposit Insurance borrowing to bridge banks for SVB and Signature Bank.

According to Capital Economics, the central bank’s reserve balances soared by $440 billion in a week, “basically reversing all the Fed’s QT efforts. The US government said on Thursday afternoon the nation’s leading banks agreed to deposit about $30 billion with First Republic Bank to stabilise the battered California lender.

To protect all depositors of SVB and Signature, the US Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation exercised unusual powers over the weekend. Naturally, depositors are only insured up to $250,000.

The Fed also extends the safety net by ensuring banks have sufficient liquidity to meet all deposit needs. The BTFP allows banks to provide collateral to the government at face value in exchange for a one-year loan. Administration officials said at the time that there was enough collateral in the banking system to cover all depositors.

Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co projected $2 trillion as an upper level for a new liquidity backstop. Although they developed a small calculation of $460 billion based on uninsured deposits amount at six US banks, holding the highest ratio of uninsured deposits over aggregate deposits.

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