Global central banks are pumping $180bn (£99bn) of extra money into the markets in a co-ordinated move to lift the amount of funds available.
The $180bn has been released by the US Federal Reserve to five other main central banks, who in turn are issuing the funds in their own countries.
The Bank of England is making $40bn available, while the European Central Bank is to provide $55bn.
Central banks in Switzerland, Canada and Japan are also taking part.
The Swiss National Bank is releasing up to $15bn extra, while the Bank of Japan is offering $60bn, and the Bank of Canada $10bn.
Commercial banks in each country will be able to access the funds in the form of loans to boost their short-term funding requirements.
What exactly does all this mean ? No-one's pumping any money in my direction. And if the central banks are making loans to the commercial banks, where's that central bank cash coming from ? Reserves ? Are they just inventing the stuff ? And what are central bank reserves anyway - where did they come from ? In the days of Prudence, when the Government ran a budget surplus, was the unspent tax handed over to the Bank of England with a note saying "whack this lot in the reserves, my son" ?
I don't know. And in all the blogosphere, I've not seen anyone explaining it either. I've just about got my head round the concept of fractional reserve banking, that cunning wheeze that turns a £100 deposit into £500 of cash, £400 of which is lent out and which functions perfectly well until the day all the bank's depositors decide they want their cash back at the same time (a la Northern Rock) - but I'm generally as a babe unborn with these things.
Try this - the Mystery of Banking (19M pdf), by Murray Rothbard. He may bring bits of ideological baggage to the party - an anarcho-capitalist, what'e'er that may be - but he writes well. I'm still wading through it.