(Reuters) - The emergency lending programs the Federal Reserve set up during the pandemic served as helpful backstops and could be revived quickly if needed after they expire at year end, a senior New York Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday.
“From an operational perspective, we could reinstate the expiring facilities quickly if needed,” said Lorie Logan, manager of the System Open Market Account, during a virtual discussion organized by the Money Marketeers of New York University.
The Fed has other tools it can use to keep markets functioning smoothly - including asset purchases, which she said can be adjusted as needed, said Logan. “Risks from the pandemic haven’t fully receded so I think our ongoing purchases are helping to insure against any re-emergence” of stress seen earlier this year, she said.
Fed policymakers discussed strategies for adjusting asset purchases during their November gathering and agreed that the central bank may want to issue new guidance on their plans for future purchases “fairly soon,” according to minutes from the meeting.
Fed officials are set to meet again on Dec. 15-16.
The New York Fed official also spoke about how money market rates were slightly higher than expected in recent months despite a massive expansion in the Fed’s balance sheet. But she noted rates could drop next year as the level of reserves continues to grow but demand for those funds falls.
The Fed stands ready to keep money market rates stable by adjusting short-interest rates and using other tools, said Logan.
“Even if more persistent downward pressure on rates emerges, we are confident that the Federal Reserve has tools to ensure effective control over the federal funds rate and other short-term interest rates across the broad range of potential outcomes,” Logan said in prepared remarks.
Reporting by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Rosalba O’Brien
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.