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  • Two of the nine Bank of England policymakers opposed this month's decision to keep interest  rates at 5.25 percent, preferring an immediate quarter-point cut to shore up the economy in the face of a global downturn.

  • Today's statement is another in a series of very significant communications from the Fed. At the extreme, it could mean the Fed is done cutting rates, barring any more massive credit-market upheavals.

  • Dollars and Euro

    The dollar posted gains against the yen and the euro on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve slashed benchmark interest rates by 75 basis points.

  • The Fed commentary, on top of the positive Lehman and Goldman numbers, are helping move stocks to the highs of the day. The Fed has: 1) Reduced the growth forecast, and increased the inflation forecast. 2) Talked less on credit problems.

  • Credit Crunch

    The size of the Fed’s expected rate cut today may help stimulate a sluggish economy. But  it is unlikely to unfreeze the credit markets, especially the mortgage one.

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    The Federal Reserve slashed a key U.S. interest rate by three-quarters of a point, to 2.25%, but Wall Street didn't seem to care that the cut was smaller than many had expected.

  • The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, DC.
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Tuesday the U.S. economy had turned down sharply but declined to label the situation a recession.

  • Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke

    Fed policy-makers are expected to make the biggest interest rate cut since 1982, while two major Wall Street firms provided some relief to investors with better-than-expected earnings.

  • Credit Crunch

    As the credit crunch worsens,  the Federal Reserve is becoming  more imaginative in its tactics. Wall Street is now betting on a full-point cut in interest rates, to  2%,  when the Fed meets Tuesday.

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    The flagging U.S. economy got more mixed news from its troubled housing sector on Tuesday, while evidence of inflation pressures continued to lurk in the producer pipeline.

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    European Central Bank Executive Board members stressed on Tuesday the role of the ECB as a guardian of price stability, giving the strong euro only scant mention.

  • British inflation leapt  further above target to a nine-month high in February but the  jump was purely due to changes in the way utility bills are  calculated, official data showed on Tuesday.

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    Australia's central bank was still concerned that interest rates might not be high enough to restrain inflation when it hiked rates to a 12-year high earlier this month, minutes of the policy meeting showed on Tuesday.

  • Lehman shares tumbled more than 20 percent Monday as Wall Street speculated whether or not it's the ailing banking system's next casualty.

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    The dollar tumbled to a 12-1/2 year low against the Japanese yen on Monday and record levels against the euro and the Swiss franc as emergency liquidity-boosting measures by the Federal Reserve over the weekend failed to ease worries about the U.S. financial sector.

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    Stocks were lower in early trading Monday as Wall Street digested the fire-sale buyout of an investment banking giant: Bear Stearns. CNBC brought the market pros for their perspective on the fallout.

  • The Federal Reserve headquarters in Washington, DC.

    The U.S. Federal Reserve announced emergency measures to stem a fast-spreading global financial crisis, tapping tools last used in the Great Depression to pour funds into cash-starved Wall Street firms.

  • Stocks tumbled Friday, after an initial jump, following news that J.P. Morgan Chase and the New York Federal Reserve are jumping in to help Bear Stearns.

  • Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers the board's Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Banking Committee in Washington Wednesday, July 19, 2006. "The recent rise in inflation is of concern," and possible increases in the prices of oil as well as other raw materials "remain a risk to the inflation outlook," Bernanke said. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke  is throwing all he’s got at the economy, but it may not be enough to combat both a recession and credit crunch.