On February 10, 2016, Stanley Fischer, the Vice Chairman of the US Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System gave a speech at a conference sponsored by the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation discussing the function of the Federal Reserve as a lender of last resort in the United States. In his remarks, Vice Chairman Fischer noted that, despite recent developments that have placed limitations on the Federal Reserve’s actions as a lender of last resort, the Federal Reserve, when necessary and appropriate, has the authority to act as lender of last resort in several ways. Vice Chairman Fischer noted that the Federal Reserve retains the power to extend discount window loans, either to individual institutions or more generally in order to address broader financial stresses, to insured depository institutions, including commercial banks, thrift institutions, credit unions, or US branches and agencies of foreign banks. Further, the Federal Reserve is also permitted, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to lend to non-bank institutions through the use of broad-based facilities to provide liquidity to financial markets.
The full text of Vice Chairman Fischer’s speech is available at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/fischer20160210a.htm.