Last Tuesday, January 22, 2008, the US central bank lowered its federal funds rate target by a hefty 0.75% to 3.5%. The panicky decision to lower the fed funds rate target was made ahead of the Fed’s meeting at the end of this month. Last Tuesday’s cut by the Fed was the largest nonscheduled interest-rate cut in more than 20 years.
Let us say that the present aggressive interest rate stance by the Fed fails to prevent the economy from falling into a recession; what kind of action is Bernanke then going to undertake? In some of his writings, he has suggested that, under such circumstances, the Fed should adopt a very aggressive stance and start pushing money on a massive scale, i.e., helicopter money. Needless to say that if this were to happen, Bernanke would run the risk of badly damaging the foundations of the real economy. FULL ARTICLE