Mortgage Crisis Spreads, Wall Street Gyrates, and the Fed May Drop Rates

The subprime/mortgage mess has accelerated this week and today the Fed stepped in to shore up the market. Many believe that a rate cut is inevitable to further shore up the market. In the meantime, the market gyrates up and down as more banks freeze credit and try to assess their positions.

The recent credit crunch caused by the sub-prime mortgage meltdown is causing many analysts to speculate that the Fed will have to cut rates shortly in order to inject additional liquidity into the financial markets.

Federal Reserve policy makers "are trying to do everything they can short of cutting the federal funds rate" to try to calm the markets, said Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research in Great Neck, N.Y.

But, he said, "I think they probably have to cut rates, and probably before their scheduled September meeting."

Already today, the Fed took the stop of injecting liquidity into the market by adding $38 billion dollars into the market via the repurchase of mortgage backed securities.

The stock market rose slightly today on tbe Fed's intervention, capping a week of volatility and gyrations in both directions. Key highlights include:

  • Spanish bank BNP Paribas said it was freezing three investment funds due to losses in US housing loans.
  • Countrywide financial said "unprecedented disruptions" in financial markets could impact its condition.
  • Several prominent hedge funds and investment banks have seen losses accelerate.

For more coverage on this:

Stocks end turbulent week with small drop -

Stocks Are Volatile After Global Sell-Off - NY Times

U.S. Stocks Recover From 213-Point Decline in Dow Average; S&P 500 Climbs -

Fear on Wall Street -

A Wild Friday on Wall Street - BusinessWeek

Impact of Mortgage Crisis Spreading - WSJ

Sol Nasisi
Sol Nasisi: Sol Nasisi is the co-founder and a past president of BestCashCow, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information. In this capacity, he closely followed rate trends for all savings-related and loan products and the impact of rate fluctuations on the economy. He specifically focused on how rates impact consumers' ability to borrow and save. He also has authored a wee


  • David Walsh

    August 11, 2007

    This really seems like it is developing into a mess. It's hard to tell how far it will go. I've heard that they expect more ARMs to reset over the next couple of years which could keep trouble brewing for awhile.

  • Robert Unger

    August 12, 2007

    Wall Street seems to want to will a rate cut, but I don't think it is going to happen any time soon. The Fed's current view is that the current situation has been created by too much liquidity that needs to come out of this market, and if Countrywide or some other major bank goes under in the process, than so be it.

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