ECB and US Fed want to ease cash access in times of crisis

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank (ECB), the US Federal Reserve and other central banks plan to ease dollar refinancing rules in times of emergency, the Financial Times Deutschland said on Thursday.

By (AFP)

Published: Thu 28 Aug 2008, 1:54 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:01 PM

According to a proposal, the Fed would make loans in the US currency to banks offering euro-denominated real estate assets as collateral, the newspaper said, quoting financial sources.

Until now, central banks have only accepted collateral backed by their own currencies.

The measure is aimed at ensuring that money markets on which commercial banks lend to each other keep operating in times of crisis.

These markets have remained under pressure since the US market for high risk, or subprime, mortgages collapsed a year ago, and analysts say one reason is that it is not possible to offer collateral in foreign currencies.

A public presentation of the plan was scheduled in October, the report said.

Central banks, in particular the ECB and the Fed, have regularly supplied money markets with huge amounts of cash in the past year to ensure commercial banks continue to extend the credit on which business depends.

The Fed, the ECB and the Swiss National Bank have also initiated a system by which banks in Europe are able to obtain refinancing in dollars via their respective central banks.

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