WASHINGTON — For the first time, the Federal Reserve Board published details on its Web site Wednesday of thousands of transactions worth trillions of dollars made by the central bank during the financial crisis between December 2007 and July 2010.
The disclosure by the Fed was called for under the Dodd-Frank Act, which was enacted in July.
What's clear from the 21,000 transactions completed during that period is that most financial institutions, large and small, foreign central banks, and even some non-financial companies like McDonald's Corp., reached out to the Fed for help.
Transactions were conducted under a multitude of lending facilities, mostly in the form of short-term loans, ranging from agency mortgage-backed securities, term asset-backed securities loan facilities, primary dealer credit facilities and many others.
For example, to help prop up the mortgage and housing markets and lower longer-term interest rates, the central bank bought $1.25 trillion in agency-MBS backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae between January 2009 and March 2010.
Among the institutions that participated under this facility included Barclays Capital, Merrill Lynch, PNB Paribas and Deutsche Bank Securities.
In another case, the Fed provided dollar liquidity swap lines with foreign central banks and non-U.S. banks, including the European Central Bank, Bank of England, and Bank of Japan, under an effort to help stabilize the dollar.
The central bank also signed off on over 4,000 transactions under its Term Auction Facility with some of the biggest banks, including Wells Fargo & Co., Chase Bank, and Bank of America Corp., participating. Other mid-size community banks also took advantage of borrowing through the program, including Fifth Third Bank, Keybank and Sterling. The facility was created by the Fed to allow banks to borrow without fear of being seen as weak by the financial market.
To help alleviate strains in the commercial paper market, major companies like General Electric Co., Chrysler Financial Services, Harley-Davidson Inc., and McDonalds Corp. all sold commercial paper to help fund day-to-day operations. The Fed created the program in October 2008 to help companies who were having trouble obtaining short-term loans. That program ended in February.