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January 31st 2008

Fed Lowers Rates…Again

Today, the Federal Reserve Bank lowered interest rates for the second time in as many weeks, bringing its benchmark federal funds rate down to 3.00%.  The Fed has now lowered rates by 2.25% since August. The move came as a relief to investors, who now see that the Fed is serious about preventing the economy from slipping into a full-scale recession. However, it remains to be seen whether the rate cuts will provide the necessary boost to the economy or instead prove too little too late. As far as the Dollar is concerned, the rate cuts carry two (conflicting) implications.  On the one hand, the economy and stock market could rally, which would likely be matched by a Dollar rally.  On the other hand, the interest rate differential between the US and EU is now a 1% and risk-averse investors hungry for yield will be hard-pressed to justify shifting capital to the US. The New York Times reports:

Many economists are far from convinced that even a combination of tax rebates and cheaper money would prevent a recession. And in a sign that bond investors are fretting that the moves could lead to higher inflation, yields on 10-year and 30-year Treasury securities edged up slightly on Wednesday.

Read More: Fed Cuts Key Rate as Stimulus Plan Advances

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Posted by Adam Kritzer | in Central Banks, US Dollar | No Comments »

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