Federal Reserve slashes rates to zero, restarts QE in historic move to combat coronavirus slowdown

Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump accused the Federal Reserve on Saturday of not being “aggressive” enough to counteract the coronavirus-linked economic slump, the Fed slashed interest rates effectively to zero and boosted assets by $700 billion to fight the COVID-19
coronavirus pandemic.

Federal Reserve slashes rates to zero. Image: President Trump holds coronavirus press conference
President Trump holds coronavirus press conference on Saturday, March 14, 2020

We have the number one currency in the world by a factor of many times. As you know, we have the currency, we have the power; we have by far the strongest currency also. You look at the dollar, the strength of the dollar. Our fed is not doing what they should be doing. We shouldn’t have a fed rate that’s higher than our competitor nations. You look at Germany, they’re essentially under zero, they’re negative. There are many countries negative. Japan is negative, Germany is negative, others are negative and we’re paying higher interest rates. And what I’d like to do is, frankly, refinance our debt. We could refinance our debt very easily at a much lower rate. We have some tremendous opportunities right now, but Jerome Powell is not making it easy…  have the right to remove [Powell], I’m not doing that… No, I’m not doing that. I have the right to also take him and put him in a regular position and put somebody else in charge and I haven’t made any decisions on that.President Trump, March 14, 2020

Paul Conner and Megan Henney for FOXBusiness:

The Federal Reserve on Sunday slashed interest rates by a full percentage point to near zero and said it would buy $700 billion in Treasury securities, an aggressive step to insulate the U.S. economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

The benchmark federal fund rate is now at a range of 0 to 0.25 percent, down from a range of 1 to 1.25 percent. The cut essentially brings the nation’s interest rate to zero — something that President Trump has repeatedly pressed for over the past year. The historically low interest rates, which not been at this level since the 2008 financial crisis, are expected to remain until the economy recovers from the recent downturn.

The Fed also said that it will buy at least $500 billion in Treasury securities and $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities over the coming months, a program known as “quantitative easing.”

Paul Davidson for USA Today:

President Trump applauded the Fed’s decision to cut rates, saying “that makes me very happy.”

“That’s a big step, and I’m very happy they did it,” Trump said at a White House news conference with his coronavirus task force. “I would think there are a lot of people on Wall Street that are very happy,” he said. “ I can tell you I’m very happy. I didn’t expect this.”

MacDailyNews Take: Historic measures for historic times.

29 Comments

    1. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is only going to get worse in the U.S. in the next month. (The CDC has announced that people stay out of any group of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.) Whether the financial markets keep doing a downturn is unknown, but they are extremely unlikely to get better. What’s the Fed going to do then? Pay organizations to borrow money? Going to a zero interest rate should have been the last resort. The Fed (and Treasury, which last I checked was at 3/8%) have no where left to go if things get significantly worse.

      Trump has been demanding his team prop up the lagging economy for several months (not just since January) and using up the tools the U.S. Government could, in theory, use to help when the financial markets and business really do get worse. The Fed has played its last card, and it has very likely played it too early.

    2. right wing losing it. once low interest was a sign of weakness. now they claim its the magic bullet, orange bozo sez so!

      lets make it permanent. zero interest rate forever. QE spending thatcher’s money. more trickledown. socialism for the rich. thatd be great again. /s

  1. Silly, foolish and ignorant comment of “thanks”. A rate drop to zero isn’t good for anyone and signifies significant ill-health. It’s nothing but a pure sign the shithouse is falling. It was inevitable.

    Clean your glasses Mr. First.

    1. When Obama did it, the GOP declared it a betrayal as did Trump at the time. But it worked.
      When Trump does it, the GOP says ‘brilliant’ and the immediate effect is… … …not looking good at all.
      Trickle down policy has failed miserably.
      Seriously, I propose Quantitative Easing for the People as an alternative: infrastructure, green technology, environmental projects to improve life for everyone, even direct payments to households. Now that would boost the economy from the bottom up.

  2. Now that credit card companies can borrow money at 0%, does that mean they are going to turn around and suspend the intrest they charge us for the duration of the health crises?

    1. The vast majority will keep their 10% to 20+% interest rates. One exception is Apple, which announced that if you are having trouble making your March Apple Card payment, don’t worry about it. Skip it. It’s not much, but it’s far more than 99% of the credit card companies are doing.

  3. How about the world is ending? I wonder what those people did when they realized the water was raising and the rain was not stopping. Hmm, perhaps they borrowed money

    Donald is stealing big time. In confusion there is opportunity. He has been whining for free money forever. You better believe that crook knows how to steal. This is why the presidency is so important, and why in modern times the US stay engaged in world events. You know what’s next of course. History tells us. WAR.

    Theses idiots are given the Russian flag at one of trump events and they don’t even realize it. He gives them red hats and they use them to pull over their eyes. He comes up with some crazy deep state BS and the red hats repeat it.

    What good does it do to have zero interest. They are now what, giving money to each other for overnight loans. Wait, oh, you think they will pass those savings on to you. Of course you realize the next thing the fed will have to do is to pay those banks to take those loans. This is all backed by the fact they will tax the American people to see profits and get that mon back. That’s the agree US has with the fed. Tax payers insure the currency.

    You have seen all those walking dead tv shows. That was the preparation. Why do you think they fought and fight so hard for the 2nd. The rich knew what they were going to do. Why do you think so many of you are on drugs, meth, Percocet, simple to keep you mind blown. It’s hard to find toilet paper guess how hard it’s about to be to get your drug of choice. No wonder the republicans didn’t want to spend any money on those folks on drugs in West Virginia, they figured they would be dying soon.

    If you vote republican, I mean, if you live through this, and still vote republican, and if there is a government left , you are still under that mind control of trump. Seek help

    1. You are an idiot. I don’t say that as an insult. I say it as a public service. You obviously don’t know it and it’s important that you do. You are welcome

    2. I totally agree. My sources tell me that Trump is a Martian commander getting ready to lead an army of Martians to attack the Earth. Why else would NASA be working with SpaceX to bring supplies to Mars? These “astronauts” are really Trump military men who are willing to sell their soul to the Martians only for Money. Trump giving up his government salary here on Earth is just chump change compared to the amount of money he will make with all those Trump Towers on Mars. Especially when we are all forced to re-locate to Mars and pay those Trump prices.

      Wake up America. Trump is a Reptilian Alien shape shifter hell bent on taking over the Earth!

      The reason you never see Trump and Pelosi in the same room together is not because they hate each other, that is a game to cover up the fact that Trump is a shape shifter and actually IS Nancy Pelosi and already is running congress. Trump is a scary Martian. Be afraid, be very afraid.

        1. So you two were like comedians entertaining the crowd while Noah was build that funny looking boat on dry land. What did they call that thing? You best take those red caps off.

      1. Ah, do you still have your fiddle? I know you smell the smoke, may be not, you’ve got your mask on under the red cap. Hey adjust your cap so you can see the fire.

    3. BOB…Don isn’t the 1st that’s asked for free money, nor just R’s as your last sentence implies.

      Please re-write including the broader reality. Ok? Or, are you experiencing a sort of mind control mentioned?

    1. Well first it was just a flu; then by cancelling flights to China, it was “fully contained”. Then after weeks of ignoring the few remaining people at the CDC, and dozens of people dying in hot spots all over the planet, only then did the administration claim it was taking “unprecedented action”. It’s printing money. No worries though, Tweety in Chief will simply do what he proposed years ago on 60 Minutes: simply declare bankruptcy and start over. It’s in his DNA.

        1. Flailing and ad hominem!

          Towertone, I may not agree with everything Mike says but he’s making more valid points than you are. Stop embarrassing yourself with the personal attacks.

          1. Paul, apparently you can’t understand Mike’s post is full of falsehoods, lies and opinions. He’s been doing the same thing for weeks.

            The reason I attack him in a silly way is because giving him facts does no good.

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