NY Fed vows to pump in $1.5 trillion to fight coronavirus-linked ‘highly unusual disruptions’ on Wall Street

President Trump failed to calm investors after his primetime address on coronavirus. CNN’s Christine Romans reports.

The New York Federal Reserve is taking out the big guns to calm panicky financial markets.

The NY Fed announced plans Thursday to inject vast amounts of money into the financial system, totaling at least $1.5 trillion. This accelerates weeklong efforts by the NY Fed aimed at easing fears that companies will lose access to capital.

The dramatic moves instantly improved the mood on Wall Street, lifting US stocks off their lows during an historic selloff. Markets are still are track for their worst week since 2008.

“This is to make sure banks don’t have any funding issues,” said Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global market strategist at Charles Schwab. “We’ve got enough to deal with, with a health crisis. We don’t want companies to feel like banks will pull back on their lines of credit and run into liquidity problems.”

The NY Fed said it would offer $500 billion in a three-month repo operation Thursday afternoon — and then will do the same thing the next day. Moreover, the Fed said it will offer a $500 billion one-month repo operation Friday and take additional steps as well.

Officials said in a statement that these capital injections are being made to “address highly unusual disruptions in Treasury financing markets associated with the coronavirus outbreak.”

The Fed has repeatedly ramped up its cash injections this week in an effort to keep funding markets operating smoothly despite the coronavirus fears. If those markets shut down, like they did in 2008, banks would stop lending to each other and cut off capital provided to Corporate America.

In other words, a health crisis would turn into a credit one.

“The idea is to make sure banks maintain capital available for businesses. This isn’t a direct injection into those businesses but as close as the Fed can get,” said Kleintop.