Emergency Fed cut an effort to appear decisive

The Federal Reserve voted to slash rates by 75 basis points to demonstrate decisiveness, minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) January meeting reveal.

Many commentators have said the Fed panicked in opting to make its first emergency cut since September 2001 on the back of sharp falls in stock indices across Europe and Asia. Details of the FOMC conference call on the evening of 21 January, the day before the cut, show concern that the cut would be "misinterpreted as directed at

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