Twelve weeks ago the Federal Reserve cut the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points (0.25%) and signaled that further cuts were unlikely. Six weeks ago they cut again by 25 basis points as house prices continued to drop, spending continued to slow, and banks continued to tighten their lending standards.
And in an unscheduled session this morning, the Feds have further cut the benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points (0.75%):
The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate in an emergency move for the first time since 2001 after stock markets tumbled from Hong Kong to London and the U.S. economy showed increasing signs that it’s headed into a recession.
The central bank cut the target overnight lending rate to 3.5 percent from 4.25 percent, the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement in Washington. Policy makers weren’t scheduled to gather until next week. It’s the biggest single reduction since the Fed began using the rate as the principal tool of monetary policy around 1990.
And once again we ask, will the cuts help revive our national housing market? And of course, what impact (if any) will the cuts have on mortgage rates closer to home?
∙ The Federal Reserve Cuts Benchmark/Discount Rates By 0.25% [SocketSite]
∙ It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again: Fed Cuts Benchmark/Discount Rates .25% [SocketSite]
∙ Fed Cuts Rate 0.75 Percentage Point in Emergency Move [Bloomberg]