International Mortgage Investors
Real Estate Finance Corporte Finance Private Placements
  About International Mortgage Investors  
  Products and Services  
  Loan Center  
  Application Process  
  Frequently Asked Questions  
  Glossary of Terms  
  Contact Us  

Federal Reserve cuts interest rates a quarter point

Interest rates are getting lower again. A Federal Reserve committee cut the federal funds rate by one-quarter of a percentage point Wednesday, to 1 percent. The prime rate will fall to 4 percent.

Consumer interest rates based on the prime rate -- those for some (but not all) home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, and auto loans -- will fall by a quarter of a point, too. Rates on some variable-rate credit cards will fall if they haven't already reached a floor below which they cannot drop.
When the Fed's Open Market Committee cuts short-term rates, it's usually to stimulate the economy. Lower interest rates encourage consumers and businesses to borrow money and spend it on goods and services. That, in theory, keeps the economy humming along.

The Fed indicated that the economy, though frail, just needs another gentle push to achieve full recovery. The economy "has yet to exhibit sustainable growth," the Fed said in its announcement. "With inflationary expectations subdued, the Committee judged that a slightly more expansive monetary policy would add further support for an economy which it expects to improve over time."
The federal funds rate is also called the overnight rate because it is what banks charge one another for overnight loans. The last time it was lower was in July 1958, when the overnight rate averaged 0.68 percent. The Fed has cut the overnight rate 13 times since the beginning of 2001, when the rate was 6.5 percent.

By Holden Lewis •

About Us
Site by RedCat Studios