By asking the Fed to return unused Treasury capital, Mnuchin is effectively preventing the Biden administration from being able to use or revamp central bank loan backstops that were made possible by the bipartisan Cares Act passed in March…
Could a new Treasury secretary bring these back? The easy answer is yes, it doesn’t take much to start a 13(3) facility.

But what made these facilities special was that Congress had provided a huge slug of funding so the Fed could make riskier investments than it otherwise would
So without the Cares Act funding, the Fed might be reluctant to resume the loan programs unless Treasury can make some new funding available.

This becomes a question of not only what is legally possible but how much political risk is the Fed and Treasury willing to take
The Cares Act money would go back to the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund, and per Cares, any of those funds would remain in the ESF through 2025.

But Cares also says Treasury isn’t authorized to make new investments in Fed lending programs with that money after 12/31/20
The politics of this are especially peculiar because even though this is a Republican administration closing the programs, some Democrats had been quite critical of the programs.

For example, when the Main Street Lending Program’s terms were revamped in April, some cried foul
Some liberal groups argued that the new terms would favor the oil and gas industry and they labeled this a “bailout” of oil and gas, even though Main Street has gone on to make very few loans, and even fewer oil and gas industry loans
The difficult politics were summed up in this exchange at a recent oversight hearing

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More from @NickTimiraos

17 Nov
Judy Shelton failed to secure the votes needed to advance to Senate confirmation on Tuesday due to two absences of Republican senators who are quarantining from the coronavirus…
Tuesday's vote showed there are as many as 50 Republicans who could support Shelton, but only 48 of them were able to vote.

There are as many as 50 senators, including three Republicans, who oppose Shelton. One of them also did not vote Tuesday.
If Rick Scott is able to get back to Washington this week, that would allow McConnell to bring up Shelton's nomination again, with Pence breaking a 49-49 tie.
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov
Sen. Grassley says he will quarantine. This means if Rick Scott also stays in quarantine, Shelton will have no more than 48 votes for her cloture vote today. She could still be confirmed if enough Dems are absent. Image
Where things stand at 11 am:

Given the absences of Scott, Grassley and Alexander, Shelton can be confirmed today only if enough Dems (or announced GOP no votes of Romney and Collins) are no shows. There were six Democrats plus Bernie Sanders who did not vote Monday evening.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.): "Every single Democrat will oppose her nomination today." (h/t @lindsaywise)
Read 10 tweets
14 Sep
New research from Gilchrist, Wei, Yue and Zakrajšek analyzes the impact the Fed's corporate credit backstop had on funding costs for large companies

"The announcement ... influenced credit spreads by significantly reducing near-term default risk."
"The benchmark spread for investment-grade U.S. corporate bonds widened nearly 100 basis points—from already elevated levels—over the few days after [the announcement of the CPFF and MMLF] while the corresponding spread for high-yield bonds jumped 180 bps over the same period."
After the announcement of the corporate lending backstop, bonds below the five-year maturity cutoff experience a drop in credit spreads of 70 basis points, relative to investment-grade bonds above the five-year maturity cutoff, during the post-announcement period.
Read 8 tweets
5 Sep
Congress appropriated $500 billion to the Treasury under the Cares Act. $454 billion is to cover losses on Fed lending programs and the other $46 billion for airlines or businesses critical to national security 1/
Treasury committed $195 billion of the former slug of equity but hasn’t allocated the other $259 billion…
Of the second slug (the $46 billion) $17 billion must go to companies critical to national security. Of that, Treasury has made one $700 million loan, making for $16.3 billion that hasn’t been committed in addition to the $259 billion…
Read 4 tweets
16 Aug
A Census survey said one in eight US adults lived in households at the end of July that didn't have enough to eat at some point in the prior week, up from one in 10 in May…
Almost 20% of Americans with kids at home couldn’t afford to give their children enough food, up from almost 17% in early June
"There is a big problem here, and the problem seems to be worse than it was at the height of the Great Recession,” said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, a Northwestern University economist.
Read 4 tweets
17 May
In his interview with 60 Minutes, Fed Chairman Jay Powell pushes back on the idea that there’s a trade off between economic growth and public health safety.

“When the public is confident that it's safe to go out, they'll go out.”…
Scott Pelley asks Powell what he’d like to see for the economy on the back end of this crisis?

Powell: “We do need to be mindful of finding a way to a more inclusive prosperity in this country.”
Pelley: Is the Fed out of ammunition?

Powell: No way. On monetary policy, he says, “There are a number of dimensions where we can move to make policy even more accommodative.”
Read 7 tweets

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