This morning the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. unveiled details of a plan that aims to free up lending between banks and greatly reduce the risk of runs on deposits. The temporary liquidity guarantee program guarantees new senior unsecured debt issued by financial institutions and provides unlimited deposit insurance coverage on all non-interest bearing transaction deposit accounts, even those exceeding the FDIC's $250,000 individual insurance limits. The moves are part of a sweeping plan to shore up confidence in the banking system, which has dried up lending and sent equities into a tailspin. Federal officials Tuesday morning said they would use $250 billion of the $700 billion bailout package recently approved by Congress to buy preferred stock in a number of banks. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said nine financial institutions have agreed to the plan and published reports have identified Goldman Sachs ( GS), Morgan Stanley ( MS), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Bank of America ( BAC), Citigroup ( C), Wells Fargo ( WFC) and other large bank holding companies as among the participants.
This should lead to a massive churning of bank debt over the next 30 days, as institutions scramble to refinance at lower rates, while avoiding a significant fee.