Fed to buy as much government debt as needed to aid economy

Federal Reserve is trying both to stabilize the economic standstill and allay panic in financial markets. Many corporations and state and city governments in desperate need of loans.

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March 23, 2020 - 10:20 AM

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS

WASHINGTON (AP) — In its boldest effort to protect the U.S. economy from the coronavirus, the Federal Reserve says it will buy as much government debt as it deems necessary and will also begin lending to small and large businesses and local governments to help them weather the crisis. 

The Fed’s announcement Monday removes any dollar limits from its plans to support the flow of credit through an economy that has been ravaged by the viral outbreak. The central bank’s all-out effort has now gone beyond even the extraordinary drive it made to rescue the economy from the 2008 financial crisis. 

“The coronavirus pandemic is causing tremendous hardship across the United States and around the world,” the Fed said in a statement. “Our nation’s first priority is to care for those afflicted and to limit the further spread of the virus. While great uncertainty remains, it has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions. Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate.”

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