JP Morgan says Fed loans will provide $2 trillion in liquidity

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(Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve’s emergency lending program could inject $2 trillion of funds into the US banking system and ease a liquidity crunch, according JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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“Use of the Fed’s bank term funding program is likely be large,” strategists led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglu in London wrote in a client note on Wednesday. While the largest banks are unlikely to tap the program, the envisaged maximum use for the facility is close to $2 trillion, which is the equivalent amount of bonds held by US banks outside the five largest.

US authorities set up the program earlier this month following the collapse of three lenders, with the aim of stoking sovereign debt fires access funds. The two-year Treasury yield has plunged than 60 basis points this week amid speculation that the Fed will skip an interest rate hike next week as it seeks stabilize the banking sector.

JPMorgan strategists wrote that the US banking system still has $3 trillion in reserves, but a significant portion of that is held by the largest banks. He said tight liquidity has been caused by both the Fed’s quantitative tightening and rate hikes, which have prompted a shift from bank money-market funds.

The bank term funding program should be able inject enough into the banking system narrow the reserve shortfall and reverse the tightening that has taken place over the past year, JP Morgan strategists wrote.

The central bank said in a statement this week that the Fed will report its use of the program on an aggregated basis each week when it releases data on its balance sheet.

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