US Federal Reserve's emergency loan program increases activity

The US Federal Reserve boosted its lending to commercial banks and investment firms over the past week, indicating that a severe credit crisis was still squeezing the financial system. The Fed released a report Friday saying commercial banks averaged US$93.6 billion in daily borrowing for the week ending Wednesday. That was up from an average of US$91.6 billion for the week ending November 19. The report also said investment firms borrowed an average of US$52.4 billion from the Fed's emergency loan program over the week ending Wednesday, up from an average of US$50.2 billion the previous week.