The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced another series of sweeping steps to provide as much as $2.3 trillion in additional aid during the coronavirus pandemic, including starting programs to aid small and mid-sized businesses as well as state and local governments.
“Our country’s highest priority must be to address this public health crisis, providing care for the ill and limiting the further spread of the virus,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a statement. “The Fed’s role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity, and our actions today will help ensure that the eventual recovery is as vigorous as possible.”
Powell is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. New York time in a webinar hosted by the Brookings Institution.
- A Municipal Liquidity Facility will offer as much as $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities, by directly purchasing that amount of short-term notes from states as well as large counties and cities
- The Main Street Lending Program will “ensure credit flows to small and mid-sized businesses with the purchase of up to $600 billion in loans”
- Expanding the size and scope of the Primary and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities and the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility to support as much as $850 billion in credit
- Starting the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, “supplying liquidity to participating financial institutions through term financing backed by PPP loans to small businesses”
Data released at the same time Friday showed that Americans applied for unemployment benefits in massive numbers for a third straight week, bringing the three-week total to almost 17 million during the virus shutdown.