The Federal Reserve Board said it lent $870 million to weak financial institutions, up dramatically from $121 million a week earlier.

The Fed does not disclose the identities of its borrowers and it is unclear whether the $870 million went to one or several institutions. But it marks the highest lending to weak institutions this year; the previous high-water mark was $140 million on May 20.

Overall lending through the discount window fell 3.8% during the past week, to $105.7 billion on Wednesday. Traditional borrowing by commercial banks declined 8.8%, to $33.2 billion and investment banks continued to stay away from the window.

Borrowing against asset-backed commercial paper held by money market mutual funds fell nearly 86%, to $113 million.

Separately, the Fed purchased $61.2 billion in commercial paper in the week ended Wednesday, a 9.1% fall from a week earlier.

Reserves held by financial institutions at the central bank fell 3%, to $724.7 billion. The Fed's balance sheet shrank 0.6%, to $1.99 trillion.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York purchased $19.2 billion in mortgage-backed securities from the government-sponsored enterprises: $14.2 billion from Fannie Mae and $5 billion from Freddie Mac.

The New York Fed received $6.9 billion in loan requests Thursday through the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. The latest round of bids did not include commercial MBS.

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