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The Treasury Department on November 19 ordered the Federal Reserve to stop making new loans through its liquidity facilities funded by the CARES Act by year-end; several lending facilities which do not depend on CARES Act funding can continue. The Fed established these lending facilities in the spring as the pandemic reached the United States and financial markets melted down; the facilities allow the Fed to make loans available to American businesses, households, and local governments, either directly by buying bonds, or indirectly by channeling money through financial institutions. The programs helped restore confidence in the financial system in the spring, preventing financial turmoil from worsening the damage to the economy that the pandemic caused, which could have made the downturn much worse. Since then, financial market conditions have improved and most of the borrowers eligible for the Fed’s facilities can get credit from private sources; as a result, the facilities made very few loans. Even so, the Fed publicly disagreed with the Treasury’s decision, arguing that the credit facilities should stay around in case the financial system needs more support before the pandemic ends.Subscribe to Comments