Friday, September 26, 2008

Credit Markets Predictably Not Happy Right Now

The interventions we've had to date have, by any standard, been massive, yet have failed to bring lasting relief. The idea that a $700 baillout bill is a "comprehensive solution" seems more than a tad optimistic. From Brad Setser:
In the last two weeks — if I am reading the Federal Reserves’ balance sheet data correctly — the Fed has:

Increased “other loans” to the financial system by around $230 billion (from $23.56b to $262.34b);

Increased its “other assets” by about $80b (from $98.67b to $183.89b);

Increased the securities it lends out to dealers by $60b (from $117.3b to $190.5b);

That works out to the provision of something like $370b of credit to the financial system in a two week period. That may be a bit too high: the outstanding stock of repos felll by $40b (from $126b to $ 86b), leaving a $330b net change in these line items. But that is still enormous.