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August 13, 2008 > Fed's "options" auction starts later this month

Fed's "options" auction starts later this month

Submitted By AP Wire Service

WASHINGTON (AP), Aug 08 _ Wall Street firms will have an opportunity to bid on options to borrow super-safe Treasury securities at Federal Reserve auctions starting later this month.

The Fed on Friday said it will conduct two such "options" auctions on Aug. 27 and Sept. 10. Last month, the Fed said it would give Wall Street firms this opportunity as part of a broader expansion of the central bank's programs aimed at helping ease credit stresses.

At each auction, $25 billion will be made available. The notion here is to give firms, unsure of whether they might need the Treasury securities, an insurance policy of sorts.

The auctions are part of a Fed program, started on March 27, that lets investment firms temporarily swap risky investments for super-safe Treasury securities. The program is intended to make these companies more inclined to lend to each other.

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