The Federal Reserve said Tuesday it will extend its menu of loan programs to companies, governments and individuals until the end of 2020.
Originally slated to expire on September 30, the myriad facilities, ranging from small business credit to junk bond purchases, will now run through December 31.
The Fed began implementing the initiatives as the market’s performance collapsed in March. Lack of liquidity stemming from fears about the coronavirus crisis froze markets and pushed the Fed into several lines of credit, some of which originated during the financial crisis.
“The extraordinary response of the Federal Reserve to the COVID-19 pandemic, backed by Treasury share capital, has played a vital role in improving liquidity and restoring market function,” said the Treasury secretary. Steve Mnuchin. “Through this extension, we will continue to support the flow of credit to American workers, businesses, and municipalities.”
The Treasury had to sign the extension, since it provides funds, which the Fed can use as collateral to move forward.
Covered programs include facilities for primary dealers and money markets, corporate bond purchases in both the primary and second markets, and the most recent launch, the Main Street Lending Program. Also included is the installation of Term Asset-Backed Securities, as well as the end of the Fed’s Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative of Congress aimed at incentivizing companies to keep employees and continue operating during the pandemic.
A state and local government loan program was already slated to run through December 31, and the commercial paper facility, which provides short-term funds for businesses, expires March 17, 2021.
The extension occurs despite the fact that the implementation of most of the programs has been quite slow. When they announced the initiatives in early April, Fed officials said the facility could provide about $ 2.3 trillion of funds.
So far, however, total loans have been approximately $ 110 billion, according to the most recent submissions the Fed has made to Congress about program activities. Market performance has also been robust, with corporate bond issuance, for example, at record levels.