Fed Slashes Benchmark Interest Rate In Extraordinary Attempt To Blunt Financial Damage From Coronavirus
By slashing its benchmark short-term rate and pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial system, the Federal Reserve's moves recalled the emergency action it took at the height of the 2008 financial crisis.
The New York Times:
To Keep Credit Flowing, The Fed Dusts Off Its Crisis Playbook
If the Federal Reserve’s surprise Sunday evening announcement of sweeping efforts to guard the economy from coronavirus reminded you of the 2008 global financial crisis, you’re not alone. In that episode, policymakers’ tendency to make surprise weekend announcements became a running joke. But the similarities between the Fed then and now go deeper than the timing of news conferences. (Irwin, 3/15)
The Associated Press:
AP Explains: What Did The Federal Reserve Do Sunday And Why?
Brandishing an array of financial weapons, the Federal Reserve announced extraordinary action Sunday to try to blunt the heavy damage the coronavirus outbreak has begun to inflict on the U.S. economy. It's slashing its benchmark interest rate to near zero. It’s buying $700 billion in bonds. It’s moving aggressively to smooth disruptions in the Treasury market. And it's prepared to do more. (Rugaber, 3/16)
Fed Slashes Rates, Central Banks Pull Out Stops To Cushion Coronavirus Blow
The coordinated global actions were reminiscent of the sweeping steps taken just over a decade ago to fight a meltdown of the global financial system, but this time the target was an entirely unfamiliar foe - a fast-spreading health crisis with no certain end in sight that is forcing entire societies to effectively shut down. In a news conference Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said the epidemic was having a "profound" impact on the economy, forcing whole industries like travel and leisure offline. Yet the ultimate spread of the virus is so uncertain, Powell said, the Fed called off quarterly economic forecasts due this week as a futile exercise until it is clear how many people will get sick, and how long public gatherings will need to be discouraged in the name of public health. (3/15)
The Washington Post:
Federal Reserve Slashes Interest Rates To Zero As Part Of Wide-Ranging Emergency Intervention
The Fed, led by Chair Jerome H. Powell, effectively cut its benchmark by a full percentage point to zero. The benchmark U.S. interest rate is now in a range of 0 to 0.25 percent, down from a range of 1 to 1.25 percent. In addition to rate cuts, the Fed announced it is restarting the crisis-era program of bond purchases known as “quantitative easing,” in which the central bank buys hundreds of billions of dollars in bonds to further push down rates and keep markets flowing freely. The Fed is also giving more-generous loans to banks around the country so they can turn around and offer loans to small businesses and families in need of a lifeline. (Long, 3/15)
Federal Reserve Statement-Lowering Federal Funds Rate To 0 To .25%
The coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States. Global financial conditions have also been significantly affected. Available economic data show that the U.S. economy came into this challenging period on a strong footing. Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January indicates that the labor market remained strong through February and economic activity rose at a moderate rate. Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Although household spending rose at a moderate pace, business fixed investment and exports remained weak. More recently, the energy sector has come under stress. On a 12‑month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent. Market-based measures of inflation compensation have declined; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed. (3/15)
Trump Congratulates Fed For Rates Cut, Calls Action 'Terrific'
U.S. President Donald Trump said the Federal Reserve's decision on Sunday to cut interest rates was "good news" and "makes me very happy" as he congratulated the central bank for taking further action aimed at helping shore up the U.S. economy amid the global coronavirus pandemic. "It's really good news. It's great for the country," Trump, who had publicly pressed the Fed to slash rates to boost the economy during the fast-escalating coronavirus outbreak, told a White House news conference. (3/16)
The Wall Street Journal:
Stocks And Bond Yields Slide After Fed Slashes Rates
U.S. equity futures and global stocks tumbled after the Federal Reserve slashed its benchmark interest rate to near zero, a sign that investors remain worried that the new coronavirus will fuel a recession even with borrowing costs dropping. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 each slid nearly 5% Monday. Trading limits prevent futures from losing more than about 5% in out-of-hours trading. (Hirtenstein and Ping, 3/16)
Fed's Failure To Fix Credit Plumbing Leaves Markets Scrambling For Dollars
A global scramble for U.S. dollar financing worsened on Monday as the Federal Reserve's aggressive move to flood markets with cash failed to temper borrowing costs and unclog funding for companies and banks hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The Fed slashed interest rates on Sunday, with central banks in New Zealand, Australia and Japan also cutting rates and pumping massive amounts of stimulus into battered markets. Other central banks also expanded stimulus last week. (3/16)
Global Central Banks Take Sweeping Action To Fight Coronavirus
The U.S. Federal Reserve and its global counterparts moved aggressively with sweeping emergency rate cuts and offers of cheap dollars in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has roiled markets and paralyzed large parts of the world economy. The coordinated response from the Fed to the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) were reminiscent of the steps taken just over a decade ago in the wake of the financial crisis. (3/16)