Ben Bernanke and the rest of the Fed are meeting today to decide whether to cut interest rates again after September's surprise half-point reduction. Bernanke has made it clear that he'd rather not drop rates again. But, as Bloomberg writes, he might not have much of a choice: with home values falling and oil skyrocketing, the markets are desperate for—and counting on—some relief.
Bernanke has given lip service to how "challenging" making policy has been since the start of the credit crunch. But without a cut the Fed risks upsetting the markets and damaging the economy deeper. Economists are speculating that Bernanke will cut rates by a quarter- or even half-point, and federal funds futures prices confirm that traders think the cut's in the bag.