Fed Remains Open to More Rate Cuts

Minutes from last meeting display growing concern about markets
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2008 7:33 PM CST
Traders Michael Arenson, left, and Mark Frank react in the Standard & Poor's 500 futures pit at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in this Oct. 31, 2007 file photo. The Federal Reserve, confronted with surging...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Fed officials will consider deeper rate cuts and a "substantial further easing of policy" if the turmoil in the credit and housing markets continues, according to minutes of last month's meeting. Officials displayed surprise at the extent of the housing crisis and acknowledged that market strains "could persist for quite some time," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Participants agreed that the housing correction was likely to be both deeper and more prolonged than they had anticipated in October," the minutes say. During the meeting, the Fed cut a key interest rate for the third time since September. While some held out the possibility that conditions could improve, the general tenor of the minutes was negative, the Journal notes.