US Treasury wants to borrow record 550 bln dlrs

WASHINGTON, November 3, 2008 (AFP) – The US Treasury said Monday it would seek to borrow a record 550 billion dollars in the October-December period to help stabilize the financial sector hammered by the global credit crisis.

The fourth-quarter borrowing estimate was substantially higher than the 408 billion dollars announced in July, and is a record high for quarterly estimates, a Treasury official said.

“The increase in borrowing is primarily due to higher outlays related to economic assistance programs, lower receipts, and lower net issuances of state and local government series securities,” the Treasury said in a statement.

The Treasury said the federal government had borrowed 530 billion dollars from the markets in the third quarter. Of that amount, 300 billion dollars was borrowed for the Federal Reserve’s Supplementary Financing Program, launched in mid-September in a bid to support the ailing economy.

In July the Treasury had estimated third-quarter borrowing at 171 billion dollars.

The escalation of worldwide financial turmoil in September and its growing negative impact on the US economy prompted US authorities to undertake an array of measures aimed at supporting banks and getting frozen cre