The Federal Reserve today extended its emergency borrowing program for Wall Street firms through Jan. 30. Originally the program, through which investment houses can tap the central bank for a quick source of cash, was supposed to last until mid-September. Another program, where banks can temporarily swap more risky investments for Treasury securities, also will continue through Jan. 30.
And the Fed will also let commercial banks, in a separate program, bid on cash loans that last longer—for 84 days—in addition to the 28-day loans now available. The Fed said it was taking these steps "in light of continued fragile circumstances in financial markets," and they would be withdrawn when and if conditions in financial markets are "no longer unusual and exigent."