Federal Reserve in battle against US Treasury over emergency funds

Bloomberg Demand for Main Street loans has picked up in the last few weeks

Bloomberg Demand for Main Street loans has picked up in the last few weeks

US Treasury yields slipped on the news of Mnuchin's letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, which came out after Wall Street closed.

He said the unused money, along with unused Treasury funds allocated for airlines and businesses critical to national security, would allow lawmakers to use $455 billion for other purposes. "With liquidity restored, they should expire, as Congress intended and the law requires, by December 31, 2020".

"Ending emergency programs specifically intended to support the economy through this crisis is irresponsible and misguided", Democratic Representative Richard Neal of MA, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement.

The central bank said it "would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy".

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Some of these were backed by funds from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act authorized by Congress, including programs targeted at the corporate credit market, municipal lending and small and medium-enterprises through the Main Street Lending Program.

In his letter to Powell, Mnuchin said that in the "unlikely event" the lending programs were again needed, the Fed could request the Treasury to re-establish them with funding from the Treasury's own stability fund or with new money from Congress. Mnuchin added he will be able to help USA businesses without a new COVID-relief bill if the Fed returns its relief funds.

The move is in line with calls by Sen.

Pat Toomey, a Republican senator poised to lead the Banking Committee if Republicans hold the Senate, applauded the Treasury's actions.

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People are missing the issue in criticizing their decision on the Federal Reserve's lending facilities, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Friday, as reported by Reuters. "These facilities, which were established in response to the unprecedented market turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, have successfully achieved their intended goal". Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat. "But this indicates Treasury will force the Fed to shut down key programs at year-end, needlessly eliminating market protection".

US President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday he has selected a treasury secretary who will be accepted across his Democratic Party, and will publicly announce the candidate soon.

"A surprise termination. prematurely and unnecessarily ties the hands of the incoming administration, and closes the door on important liquidity options for businesses at a time when they need them most", U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said.

Mnuchin requested that, out of an "abundance of caution", four other Fed lending programs be extended for 90 days.

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Investor sentiment was also affected by data that showed COVID-19 hospitalisations across the United States jumped by almost 50% in the last two weeks, threatening the recovery of the world's largest economy as cities and states began to impose lockdowns.

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