- Banks rushed to borrow unprecedented amounts from the Federal Reserve's traditional backstop following SVB's collapse, new data shows.
- Lenders took up $153 billion from the Fed's discount window in the week to March 15, topping a previous high of $111 billion.
- Banks also borrowed $11.9 billion from the Fed's new emergency loan tool launched following SVB's downfall.
Banks rushed to borrow unprecedented amounts from the Federal Reserve as the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank rattled Wall Street.
Lenders snapped up $153 billion from the Fed's discount window – the traditional backstop for banks – in the week ended March 15, according to new data. That blows away the historic high of $111 billion reached during the 2008 financial crisis.
The data also showed banks borrowed $11.9 billion from the Fed's new emergency loan tool dubbed the Bank Term Funding Program, launched after Silicon Valley's eye-popping downfall.
Top economist Mohamed El-Erian reflected on the data, adding the underlying motive driving this behaviour among the banks is not yet clear.
"The names of the borrowing institutions will be available in a couple of years. What we don't know today and that matters for assessing systemic risk: How much of this record amount reflects Urgent needs, Precautionary behavior, Exploiting an attractive price arbitrage," he said in a tweet.
The global banking system has come under pressure in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank's demise. On Thursday, a group of 11 banks led by Wall Street beasts including JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo agreed to deposit $30 billion into the troubled First Republic Bank.
The move followed a turbulent few days for the regional lender as fears of depositors pulling funds sparked a selloff in its share price following SVB's implosion. Silicon Valley Bank was taken over by US regulators last week after clients yanked funds in learning about a multi-billion-dollar loss on SVB's bond portfolio.
"This data will be parsed more in coming weeks if stress persists but the 11 bank consortium into First Republic will be hoped to be enough to prevent that," Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid said Friday, referring to the latest bank borrowings from the Fed.