Marketwatch | Fed lowers rate by .75% to 1%
A senior Fed official told reporters that the Fed has switched tactics and will now focus on aiding credit.
The Fed has already targeted a few debt classes for assistance. The senior officials said that other classes, including below triple-AAA quality debt, may be purchased.
The official said the program was not quantitative easing as practiced by Japan in the 1990s.
While Japan simply wanted to increase the quantity of money, the Fed wants to focus on the asset side of the balance sheet.
The moves are just about as aggressive as the central bank could be on monetary policy.
The Fed gave clear signals that it has moved on to other measures beyond setting interest rates in its fight to keep the economy rolling.
Josh Shapiro, chief economist at MFR Inc., said the Fed is “petrified” about the economic outlook.
But the senior Fed official said that economists at the central bank generally are in agreement with Wall Street economists about the duration and depth of the recession.
After two quarters of very weak growth, the economy should start a slow recovery after mid-year, the official said.