Why Is It Called The Fed Put?


When it comes to the world of finance, there are plenty of terms and phrases that might seem confusing or unfamiliar to the average person. One such term is the “Fed Put.” In this article, we’ll explore what the Fed Put is, how it works, and why it’s called that in the first place.

What Is The Fed Put?

The Fed Put is a term used to describe an approach taken by the Federal Reserve to stabilize the economy during times of financial crisis. Essentially, the Fed Put refers to the idea that the Federal Reserve will step in and take action to prevent a major economic downturn from occurring.

How Does The Fed Put Work?

The Fed Put works by giving investors confidence that the Federal Reserve will take action to prevent a financial crisis. This confidence can help to stabilize markets and prevent panic selling, which can exacerbate economic problems. By providing this “safety net,” the Federal Reserve can help to calm markets and prevent a crisis from spiraling out of control.

Why Is It Called The Fed Put?

So, why is this approach called the “Fed Put”? The term “put” in this context refers to a financial instrument called a put option, which is essentially a contract that gives the holder the right to sell an asset at a certain price within a certain timeframe. The idea behind the Fed Put is that the Federal Reserve is like an investor holding a put option on the economy – if things start to go south, the Fed can step in and “sell” the economy at a certain price to prevent a full-blown crisis.

The Origins Of The Fed Put

The concept of the Fed Put has its roots in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the Federal Reserve was dealing with a series of financial crises. During this time, the Federal Reserve began to adopt a more proactive approach to managing the economy, with then-chairman Alan Greenspan famously stating that the Fed stood ready to take “prompt corrective action” to prevent a crisis from occurring.

Examples Of The Fed Put In Action

Over the years, the Federal Reserve has put the Fed Put into action on several occasions. One notable example was during the 2008 financial crisis, when the Fed took a number of steps to stabilize markets and prevent a full-blown economic collapse. These steps included lowering interest rates to near zero, providing liquidity to banks, and implementing various stimulus measures.

Critiques Of The Fed Put

Despite its successes, the Fed Put is not without its critics. Some argue that it encourages risky behavior by investors, who may assume that the Federal Reserve will always be there to bail them out. Others argue that it can lead to moral hazard, as investors may take on too much risk knowing that the Fed will step in to prevent a crisis from occurring.


The Fed Put is a key concept in the world of finance, and understanding how it works is important for anyone looking to make informed investment decisions. While it has its critics, the Fed Put has proven to be an effective tool for stabilizing markets and preventing financial crises. Whether or not it will continue to be relied upon in the future remains to be seen, but for now, it remains a key part of the Federal Reserve’s toolkit.