The U.S. will spend trillions to keep people and businesses afloat.


The U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have set up roughly a dozen programs to keep people and businesses afloat during the coronavirus crisis, aimed at limiting bankruptcies, company failures, and family stress. The programs will funnel trillions of dollars to people and businesses left reeling as the economic consequences of the pandemic multiply.

The Treasury, the agency that collects taxes and pays the government’s bills, is responsible for the programs that are putting cash directly into the pockets of people and companies. The Federal Reserve is the nation’s central bank and an independent entity responsible for overseeing its money supply and financial markets. Its crisis programs help ensure people and companies, including banks and financial firms, continue to borrow and lend to each other, sometimes making those loans itself.