Fed holds rates steady but with rare split vote

US - The Federal Reserve on Tuesday held interest rates steady despite a hesitant economic recovery and worries about a possible war with Iraq. In an unusual move the meeting saw dissent, with two members calling for a rate reduction. This was the first departure from Fed Board unanimity since 1995.

The central bank left the benchmark overnight bank-lending rate at a 41-year low of 1.75 percent, where it has been since December.

Fed Governor Edward Gramlich and Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Presi