Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Global rate cuts have arrived

Those globally coordinated rate cuts that so many people were looking for have arrived.

More on that from the New York Times:

"Central banks around the world cut short-term interest rates by up to half a percent on Wednesday after investors across Asia and Europe unleashed waves of sell orders onto already depressed stock exchanges.

The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and other central banks from Britain and Switzerland to Canada and China announced rate reductions within seconds of one another. The British government separately announced a plan to pump billions of pounds into the country’s leading banks as part of a plan that would result in considerably greater government influence over the financial sector there.

The Fed said in a statement that, because of weakening economic activity, it had cut the Federal funds target rate by half a percentage point, to 1.5 percent. It also cut its discount rate by the same amount. The vote was unanimous.

The European Central Bank cuts its benchmark rate to 3.75 percent, from 4.25 percent."

The Dow is up about 114 points now (1:10 pm CST), although it was down earlier in the day following the rate cut announcements.

Worth noting: Bloomberg reports that the VIX hit an intraday record high of 58.36 as the combined rate cuts "failed to reassure investors".

Question A): Does anyone think that this will provide more than a possible short-term stock market rally? Question B): Is your faith in the strength of the global economy bolstered by this latest coordinated move?