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."
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.