In order to address problems related to the subprime mortgage crisis and United States housing bubble, several new tools have been created. The first new tool, called the Term Auction Facility, was added on December 12, 2007. It was first announced as a temporary tool 1 but there have been suggestions that this new tool may remain in place for a prolonged period of time 2. Creation of the second new tool, called the Term Securities Lending Facility, was announced on March 11, 2008 3. The main difference between these two facilities is that the Term Auction Facility is used to inject cash into the banking system whereas the Term Securities Lending Facility is used to inject treasury securities into the banking system 4. Creation of the third tool, called the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF), was announced on March 16, 2008 5. The PDCF was a fundamental change in Federal Reserve policy because now the Fed is able to lend directly to primary dealers, which was previously against Fed policy 6. The differences between these 3 new facilities is described by the Federal Reserve 7:
The Term Auction Facility program offers term funding to depository institutions via a bi-weekly auction, for fixed amounts of credit. The Term Securities Lending Facility will be an auction for a fixed amount of lending of Treasury general collateral in exchange for OMO-eligible and AAA/Aaa rated private-label residential mortgage-backed securities. The Primary Dealer Credit Facility now allows eligible primary dealers to borrow at the existing Discount Rate for up to 120 days.
As the economy has slowed in the last nine months and credit markets have become unstable, the Federal Reserve has taken a number of steps to help address the situation. These steps have included the use of traditional monetary policy tools at the macroeconomic level as well as measures at the level of specific markets to provide additional liquidity.
The Federal Reserve's response has continued to evolve since pressure on credit markets began to surface last summer, but all these measures derive from the Fed's traditional open market operations and discount window tools by extending the term of transactions, the type of collateral, or eligible borrowers.
A fourth facility, the Term Deposit Facility, was announced December 9, 2009, and approved April 30, 2010, with an effective date of Jun 4, 2010 10. The Term Deposit Facility allows Reserve Banks to offer term deposits to institutions that are eligible to receive earnings on their balances at Reserve Banks. Term deposits are intended to facilitate the implementation of monetary policy by providing a tool by which the Federal Reserve can manage the aggregate quantity of reserve balances held by depository institutions. Funds placed in term deposits are removed from the accounts of participating institutions for the life of the term deposit and thus drain reserve balances from the banking system.