- Title: Fed slashes rates, central banks pull out stops to cushion coronavirus blow
- Date: 15th March 2020
- Summary: WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES (FILE - MARCH 27, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF FEDERAL RESERVE BUILDING
- Keywords: Federal Reserve coronavirus interest rates rate cut
- Reuters ID: LVA003C55YDZB
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:01:00
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Story Text: The U.S. Federal Reserve slashed rates back to near zero, restarted bond buying and joined with other central banks to ensure liquidity in dollar lending to help put a floor under a rapidly disintegrating global economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
And in a dramatic move that underscored the depth of the economic threat as businesses shutter and potentially millions of jobs evaporate, the Fed encouraged banks to tap trillions of dollars in equity and liquid assets built up as capital buffers since the financial crisis to support firms and people whose lives have been upended by the virus.
"The virus presents significant economic challenges," Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a news conference after cutting short-term rates to a target range of 0% to 0.25%, and announcing at least $700 billion in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities purchases in coming weeks.
As governments restrict gatherings, businesses and schools close, and families begin to hunker down in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus, Fed officials will "do what we can to ease hardship" as economic activity slows this quarter and next, he said.
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- Embargoed:30th March 2020 00:34
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