Fed Rolls Out $2.3 Trillion Program To Stabilize Economy

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pauses during a news conference, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, to discuss an announcement from the Federal Open Market Committee, in Washington. In a surprise move, the Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by a sizable half-percentage point in an effort to support the economy in the face of the spreading coronavirus. Chairman Jerome Powell noted that the coronavirus “poses evolving risks to economic activity."  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
ARCHIVO - Foto de archivo, 3 de marzo de 2020, del presidente de la Reserva Federal, Jerome Powell, en conferencia de prensa en Wshington. Powell dijo el jueves 26 de marzo de 2020 que la Fed otorgará préstamos cas... ARCHIVO - Foto de archivo, 3 de marzo de 2020, del presidente de la Reserva Federal, Jerome Powell, en conferencia de prensa en Wshington. Powell dijo el jueves 26 de marzo de 2020 que la Fed otorgará préstamos casi ilimitados para enfrentar los daños causados a la economía por el virus. (AP Foto/Jacquelyn Martin, File) MORE LESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is taking additional steps to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. The money will target American households and businesses, as well as local governments besieged by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Fed said Thursday that it is activating a Main Street Business Lending Program authorized by the CARES Act, the largest economic relief package ever passed by Congress.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed’s role was to “provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity.”

In addition, the Fed activated a loan program for municipal governments, as well as additional support for the Paycheck Protection Program, which the Small Business Administration rolled out last week. The program provides loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

The Main Street lending program “will make a significant difference for the 40,000 medium-sized business that employ 35 million Americans,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The government’s pay protection plan for small businesses is off to a rocky start. They have had difficulty getting banks to provide the loans. The banks have said that the government has not made clear how they should process such loans, even what forms are required.

The Fed announced the new infusion of cash on the same day the U.S. reported applications for unemployment benefits last week reached a staggering 6.6 million. That means more than one in 10 workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks to the coronavirus outbreak.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: