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Banks borrow record $437.5 billion per day from Fed

If the banks are borrowing over $437 billion a day from the Fed anyway, what was all the fuss about the $700 billion bailout bill?

Banks borrow record $437.5 billion per day from Fed Reuters, 10.17.08

Banks and dealers’ overall direct borrowings from the Fed averaged a record $437.53 billion per day in the week ended October 15, topping the previous week’s $420.16 billion per day.

Some analysts are concerned that banks’ dependence on Fed lending might become long term and difficult to change.

“The banking system is going to become addicted to this very cheap money. Unwinding it will be very difficult,” said Howard Simons, strategist with Bianco Research in Chicago.

“We have effectively allowed the central banks to disintermediate the banking system. Why would I want to borrow from you if I could do it with the central bank, because they can always print it up and say ‘here’…and they are in the business now of making sure I stay in business,” Simons said.

…Proceeds from the U.S. Treasury’s sales of Treasury bills in the Fed’s supplementary financing account, which are helping to fund the Fed’s support of financial institutions, were $499.13 billion as of October 15, versus $459.25 billion as of October 8.

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