Powell, Mnuchin: MSLP to Be Operational by End of May

Top policymakers today said that they expect the Main Street Lending Program “to be up and running by the end of the month,” according to comments made by  Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a virtual Senate Banking Committee hearing today. Both noted that starting the program—which is intended to provide up to $600 billion in credit to small and midsize firms—has been a top priority, though Powell qualified that given the complexity, the MSLP’s launch might slide “a day or two into June.”

“Main Street is in a class by itself” among the Fed’s 13(3) facilities, Powell noted, acknowledging the challenges of standing up a program intended to serve small, medium and large firms from “very different industries with very different credit needs–some of them asset-based, some of them cash-flow based,” he said. “It’s a very complex undertaking and people are working literally around the clock and have been for weeks to get it ready by the end of this month.”