Fed Restarts Currency-Swap Tool as Sovereign-Debt Crisis Flares
By Scott Lanman and Craig Torres
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve will restart its emergency currency-swap tool by providing as many dollars as needed to European central banks to keep the continent’s sovereign-debt crisis from spreading.
The swaps with the European Central Bank, Bank of England and Swiss central bank will allow them to provide the “full allotment” of U.S. dollars as needed, the Fed said late yesterday in a statement in Washington. A separate swap line with the Bank of Canada will support as much as $30 billion, the Fed said, and the Bank of Japan said it approved reactivating its U.S. line. The swaps were authorized through January 2011.
The Fed action was a complement to European policy makers’ announcement of an unprecedented loan package worth almost $1 trillion to stop a crisis that threatened to shatter confidence in the euro. The U.S. central bank on Feb. 1 had closed all swap lines opened during the last crisis, triggered by the subprime- mortgage meltdown in 2007. more