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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 119 482 10,051
MORTGAGES 119 497 11,811
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 29 82 1,716
BUILDING PERMITS 268 1,056 21,366
BANKRUPTCIES 50 263 6,700
BUSINESS LICENSES 28 151 3,584
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 33 172 4,155
MARRIAGE LICENSES 20 111 2,290

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