WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve Board's decision this week to expand its consumer lending program to up to $1 trillion could force the central bank to make tough choices about how to fund efforts to salvage financial markets.

The Fed plans to support the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, which is expected to launch this month, by tapping the reserves financial institutions stash at the central bank. But on Wednesday those reserves totaled just $600.1 billion — more than thirty-three times higher than a year earlier but far less than what the Fed is ultimately on the hook to lend.

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