Monday, May 10, 2010

How Big is the Fed's Currency Swap Facility Likely to Get?

No one knows. Not even the Fed. But if past is prologue, it could be huge.

According to the Federal Reserve's own calculations, the  Fed during the first part of the current crisis, at peak, had nearly $600 billion in currency swap facilities outstanding.

If the Fed comes anywhere near this number this time around, it will be hugely inflationary, as I seriously doubt banks will simply put these funds on deposit as excess reserves (as they did in phase 1 of the crisis). If the Fed attempts to sterilize the swap facilities, it will mean huge drains of money from other parts of the economy and roller coaster distortions in the markets.

1 comment:

  1. Do you think they will sterilize the swap and drain it from other parts of the economy? Any guesses?