Congress as part of its Cares Act has tapped the Federal Reserve as a partner in the fiscal response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Fed will be operating at an unprecedented scale, reportedly lending as much as $5 trillion, which is more than its entire balance sheet before the crisis. It will also be engaging in a practice in which it has little experience: targeting capital to individual companies in commercial industries. This is an important and complex task that requires great care and speed.
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