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Economy

Fed cuts rates to near zero, resumes quantitative easing

Will buy at least $700bn in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities

The Fed already cut interest rates by half a percentage point on March 3.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve slashed rates back to near zero, restarted bond buying and joined with other central banks to ensure liquidity in dollar lending to help put a floor under a rapidly disintegrating global economy during the escalating coronavirus pandemic.

And in a dramatic move that underscored the depth of the economic threat as businesses shutter and potentially millions of jobs evaporate, the Fed encouraged banks to tap trillions of dollars in equity and liquid assets built up as capital buffers since the financial crisis to support firms and people whose lives have been upended by the virus.

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