The Federal Reserve’s critical system for interbank payments which serves as the backbone of virtually all money transfers in the US, went down Wednesday afternoon as trillions in payments suddenly ground to a halt. The outage, similar to two significant disruptions suffered by the Fed in 2019, was widespread across all payment systems maintained by the central bank, including the vital automated clearinghouse system known as FedACH, and the Fedwire Funds interbank transfer service.
ACH is a national system that processes batches of electronic funds transfers such as payroll, social security benefits, tax refunds, corporate payments to vendors and utility payments, according to the Fed’s website. The commercial service handled 62.1 million transactions a day on average in 2019 with an average value of $1,802, the latest year for which data are available.
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“A Federal Reserve operational error resulted in disruption of service in several business lines,” Jim Strader, a spokesman for the Richmond Fed, said in an e-mailed statement. “We are restoring services and are communicating with all Federal Reserve Financial Services customers about the status of operations.”
Around 230 pm, FRBservices.org reported that after a roughly hour-long outage, the Fed’s central bank services and FedCash were back to normal operations. While the little used FedMail did not suffer a disruption, all other services are still listed as “service disruption.”
“We are in process of restarting the Fedwire Services and National Settlement Service and expect to resume normal processing this afternoon,” the website says
So… the Great reset, eh?
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Update (1400ET): The Fed issued a brief statement:
“The Federal Reserve Bank staff is currently investigating a disruption to multiple services. We will continue to provide updates as soon as they are available.”
Is this The Great Reset?