Transcripts of the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve from 2002–2008.

Just to put some numbers on IMF lending capacity—total IMF lending capacity is about $250 billion. To get even that high they have to call in some special arrangements that they have with a variety of countries. The maximum capacity is $250 billion. So the $120 billion that we’re proposing today would be essentially half of what the IMF could do. In that sense I really see what we’re proposing as our taking off the IMF’s hands some of the largest potential liquidity needs, which then allows them to focus on a whole range of additional countries. A related point is that I understand that, in an IMF executive board meeting today, the managing director indicated that they are getting a fair amount of interest in this new facility. It really is a different kind of facility, and frankly, even a week ago if you told me that the IMF was going to be able to put this facility together in this quick a time, I would have said, “No way. There’s no way that the IMF can move this quickly.” So it is about as good as we could expect and maybe even better than what we could have expected from the Fund. I think that they are doing what they can to minimize stigma. On the other hand, they don’t have enough lending capacity to really handle these folks that we’re talking about today.

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