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VOL. 123 | NO. 63 | Monday, March 31, 2008

Fed Offers $100 Billion More to Commercial Banks to Fight Credit Crisis

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | AP Economics Writer

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve announced Friday it will auction another $100 billion in April to cash-strapped banks as it continues to combat the effects of a credit crisis.

The central bank said it would make $50 billion available at each of two auctions, on April 7 and April 21.

Through the end of March, the Fed has provided $260 billion in short-term loans to commercial banks through the innovative auction process. It also has employed Depression-era provisions to provide money to investment banks.

All the moves have been designed to cope with a serious financial crisis that has roiled U.S. and global markets and caused the near-collapse of Bear Stearns, the nation's fifth largest investment bank.

The Fed has been holding auctions every two seeks since December to provide short-term loans to commercial banks. It started with auctions of $20 billion, then pushed the level to $30 billion, and in early March raised the auction amount to $50 billion as the credit shortage grew more severe.

In announcing the move to $50 billion last month, the Fed said it would continue the auctions for at least the next six months, unless credit conditions show they are no longer needed.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 91 158 16,219
MORTGAGES 98 179 18,735
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 13 36 2,497
BUILDING PERMITS 136 349 33,738
BANKRUPTCIES 63 115 10,429
BUSINESS LICENSES 30 47 5,350
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 24 53 6,326
MARRIAGE LICENSES 19 52 3,563