Fed Cuts Interest Rate to Ease Market, Housing Crunch

The US Federal Reserve Bank announced a lowering of the interest rate for federal funds, meaning the rate banks charge one another for overnight loans. The rate will be lowered from 4.25 to 3.5. This is the third interest rate cut since last September, when the bank cut the interest rate by a half-point, and then quarter-points in October and December.
The decision, made in an emergency phone meeting of board directors, comes on the heels of a dramatic drop in stock markets worldwide on the slowdown of the US economy and fears over continuing losses there. The rate was cut before the stock market opened today in hopes of halting or at least slowing this worldwide plunge.

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