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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Chart of Stock Markets vs Fed Funds Rate

Click chart to see it full sized

The Federal Reserve cut its Fed Funds interst rate today from 5.25% to 4.75% and they cut their discount rate to from 5.75% to 5.25%. Below is the text of their statement explaining their actions.

Release Date: September 18, 2007

  • For immediate release
    .
    The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to lower its target for the federal funds rate 50 basis points to 4-3/4 percent.
    .
    Economic growth was moderate during the first half of the year, but the tightening of credit conditions has the potential to intensify the housing correction and to restrain economic growth more generally. Today’s action is intended to help forestall some of the adverse effects on the broader economy that might otherwise arise from the disruptions in financial markets and to promote moderate growth over time.
    .
    Readings on core inflation have improved modestly this year. However, the Committee judges that some inflation risks remain, and it will continue to monitor inflation developments carefully.
    .
    Developments in financial markets since the Committee’s last regular meeting have increased the uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook. The Committee will continue to assess the effects of these and other developments on economic prospects and will act as needed to foster price stability and sustainable economic growth.
    .
    Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Charles L. Evans; Thomas M. Hoenig; Donald L. Kohn; Randall S. Kroszner; Frederic S. Mishkin; William Poole; Eric Rosengren; and Kevin M. Warsh.
    .
    In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 50-basis-point decrease in the discount rate to 5-1/4 percent. In taking this action, the Board approved the requests submitted by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco.
Kirk's Comments: I view this is positive as the Fed is taking action to help the credit markets and it has returned its bias to "neutral." What this all means to the stock markets is discussed in my October newsletter I am writing now and hope to release by the weekend. Subscribe now and get my list of stocks I think will benefit from today's action.


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