By Nick Timiraos 

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday it would reduce the rates it charges cities and states seeking short-term loans from an emergency lending program.

Changes to the program must be agreed upon by the Treasury Department, which has approved $35 billion to cover losses on up to $500 billion in loans extended by the Fed.

Municipal bond strategists and some Democratic lawmakers have expressed disappointment in recent weeks over the degree to which the Fed positioned the program as a backstop.

With Tuesday's changes, the Fed will reduce by 0.5 percentage point the interest-rate spread on tax-exempt notes, and it will also reduce the amount by which rates for taxable notes are adjusted relative to tax-exempt notes.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 11, 2020 17:32 ET (21:32 GMT)

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