Fed looks set to lower interest rates

Ben Bernanke, the US Fed chairman, and his central bank colleagues meet on Tuesday to make their next decision on interest rates, and appear set to lower the 5.25% federal funds rate to prevent a housing collapse and credit crunch from forcing the US economy into recession.

Policy makers are expected to cut the federal funds rate by at least a quarter of a percentage point, or even by a half-point. The aim of such a move would be to get millions of American borrowers to spend and invest more a