[Ed. – It’s not clear the extent to which this has affected small-customer transactions during the outage, which seems to be running 2-3 hours in most places. Presumably someone will get back to us with history on whether an outage this comprehensive has occurred before. It may be something innocent and accidental, but you could pull off a lot of shenanigans in an outage this length, and I wouldn’t want to see us get used to hearing about them. That would just condition us to think they’re no big deal.]
The Federal Reserve said it is restoring services that were thrown offline Wednesday by an “operational error” that spurred outages in a dozen areas, including check clearing and Fedwire, which handles trillions of dollars in transactions daily for the world’s biggest banks.
“A Federal Reserve operational error resulted in disruption of service in several business lines,” the Fed told Reuters in an emailed statement. “We are restoring services and are communicating with all Federal Reserve Financial Services customers about the status of operations.”
All nine of the Fed’s electronic services crashed in the early afternoon, and by 2:30pm EST, had been restored, but the key Fedwire Funds system that allows banks to settle large payments like mortgages or commercial loans, and acts as a clearinghouse for financial institutions executing major transactions, was still down.