It’s a tight rope walk for Ben Bernanke, no doubt. If policy makers cut rates too cautiously, they risk a recession; if they cut them too much or too early, they risk stoking inflation.
In reducing its benchmark interest rate by an unusually large one-half percentage point, to 4.75 percent from 5.25 percent, the Federal Reserve made it clear that policy makers viewed the turbulence and disruptions of the past couple of months as too dangerous to ignore.
The reaction in stock markets was ecstatic: the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 200 points almost instantly and ended the day up 335 points, or 2.51 percent, at 13,739.39.
With a weak dollar that helps surge in American exports, for a change, the US is no longer the world’s engine of growth; the global economy could now become the engine of American growth.