Federal Reserve acts on a Sunday evening to slash rates to near zero

Federal Open Market Committee

  • cut interest rates for the second time in less than two weeks
  • emergency move
  • “The effects of the coronavirus will weigh on economic activity in the near term and pose risks to the economic outlook. In light of these developments, the Committee decided to lower the target range
  • The Committee expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals”
Headlines via Reuters:
  • fed cuts interest rates to near zero in response to coronavirus crisis, risks to economic outlook
  • says expects target interest rate will remain in range of 0 and 0.25% until economy has “weathered recent events” and is on track to meet inflation and employment goals
  • says crisis has “harmed communities and disrupted economic activity” in u.s. and other countries, will weigh on activity in the near term
  • says will use “full range of tools” to support economy, will expand holdings of treasury securities by $500 bln and mortgage backed securities by $200 bln in coming months
  • vote on policy action was 9 to 1, with Cleveland fed president Loretta Mester preferring a smaller interest rate cut
  • Fed announces coordinated action with bank of Canada, bank of England, bank of Japan, European central bank and Wwiss national bank
  • Fed says six global central banks have agreed to lower pricing on u.s. dollar liquidity swap arrangements by 25 bps
  • says changes to central bank swap lines will take effect week of march 16
  • Fed and other global central banks will begin offering u.s. dollar liquidity in each jurisdiction with 84-day maturity
  • Fed says it will lower the primary credit rate by 150 basis points to 0.25 percent, effective march 16
  • Fed says it supports firms that choose to use their capital and liquidity buffers to lend and undertake other supportive actions in a safe and sound manner
  • says that depository institutions may borrow from the discount window for periods as long as 90 days, prepayable and renewable by the borrower on a daily basis
  • says reducing reserve requirement ratios to zero percent effective on march 26
  • says encourages depository institutions to utilize intraday credit extended by reserve banks, on both a collateralized and uncollateralized basis
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