Fed works over weekend to counter market stress

The Federal Reserve took its fourth emergency action in ten days on Sunday 16 March, cutting the rate at which it offers discount window funds and attempting to boost trading in securitisation markets.

The Fed cut its discount rate from 3.5% to 3.25% - just a quarter-point higher than the federal funds rate - and increased the maximum maturity of loans from 30 to 90 days.

The Federal Reserve Board, comprising the central bank's governors, chair and vice-chair, unanimously authorised the cut,

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