Fed emergency loans to banks drop sharply

Banks borrowed less from the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending program over the past week as it becomes easier to borrow in the private credit markets.

Commercial banks averaged $15.1 billion in daily borrowing for the week that ended Wednesday, the Fed reported Thursday. That was down from $17.5 billion in average borrowing for the previous week.

Banks have scaled back their use of the Fed’s emergency discount loan window as credit markets have thawed in the past year. At the peak of the crisis, which struck in the fall of 2008, banks’ daily borrowing from the discount window reached $110 billion as lenders panicked and credit markets locked up.

Banks, whose identities are not released, pay interest of just 0.50 percent on the emergency loans.

The Fed’s weekly report also showed that banks are generally making less use of other programs designed to ease the financial crisis. [Read the full article]

JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to hire 600 people this year in Florida, with 250 of them in South Florida alone. That’s just part of the New York-based company’s expansion plans, Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said during a visit to Miami on Thursday. Since acquiring the failed Washington Mutual in October 2008, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) has rebranded those branches as Chase Bank and introduced its comprehensive financial services, such as business banking and private wealth management, to its new retail customers. It invested more than $90 million in its Florida branches last year. Its growth in South Florida includes 75 people in private banking, said Alvaro Martinez-Fonts, CEO of JPMorgan Chase’s Florida private banking in Miami, where it increased staff by 50 percent, to 78, last year. The company also plans to launch new private banking offices in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville in the next two years. [Read the full article]

Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) will redeem the principal amounts indicated for the following securities issues on the redemption dates indicated below at a redemption price equal to 100 percent of the principal amount redeemed, plus accrued interest thereon to the date of redemption:

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to help those who house America.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities of Fannie Mae. Nothing in this press release constitutes advice on the merits of buying or selling a particular investment. [Read the full article]

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