WASHINGTON — Borrowing through the Federal Reserve Board's discount window continued to mount during the past week, when loans jumped 2.4% to a new high of $441.8 billion on Wednesday.
It was the fifth consecutive week with a new record.
Lending to traditional banks also hit a new record of $101.9 billion, a 3.8% boost from a week earlier.
The majority of the lending — $133.9 billion — was sent to investment banks through the primary dealer credit facility. That was an 8.9% increase from a week earlier.
The Fed established the PDCF in March to lend directly to investment banks. Though major standalone investment banks no longer exist on Wall Street, the facility helps Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which are now bank holding companies, and the investment bank units of commercial institutions.
Lending against asset-backed commercial paper held by money market mutual funds, however, was off nearly 12% during the week, to $122.8 billion on Wednesday.
The Fed also said it distributed $82.9 billion to American International Group Inc., the insurance company bailed out by the central bank last month. That is a 17.9% increase from a week earlier.
The AIG support includes an $85 billion loan the company received from the Fed as well as investment-grade, fixed income securities the central bank agreed to borrow. The Fed did not break down how its liquidity support of AIG was split between the $85 billion loan and the securities borrowing.
There were no loans to weak commercial banks and the remaining $24 million was issued as seasonal credit to institutions in rural or resort regions.
More than $232.4 billion of the discount window loans will come due within 15 days. Another $123.1 billion will be repaid between 16 and 90 days.
The Fed is also making longer term loans as demand for funds from the discount window grows. More than $69.8 billion will mature between one and five years and another $16 billion will be repaid in 91 days to one year.
The Fed's balance sheet continues to grow to accommodate heightened discount window borrowing. Total assets grew 11.3%, to $1.8 trillion.