Friday, August 24, 2007

Banks won’t borrow at the discount window

The Fed’s offer to lend at 5.75% to banks wasn’t exactly embraced this week, as only a total of $2 billion was borrowed. Most interestingly, the borrowers were four major banks – Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Wachovia Corp., each borrowing $500 million, to show solidarity with the Fed’s attempt to help the financial market. The problem is, the ones in need of financing are smaller companies, such as mortgage originators, hedge funds and their like, who generally borrow from some of the above mentioned, because they can’t borrow directly from the Fed. Banks, however, do not wish to have anything to do with mortgage companies at the moment, because the latter are very much likely to default on any loans extended to them. Therefore, the Fed’s move didn’t help anyone much.

According to an article on, all four banks had access to cheaper credit, so it’s definitely not urgent need for liquidity that made them borrow from the Fed.

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