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With Sweeping Rescue Plan, Fed Sidesteps Congress’s Bickering

March 24, 2020, 10:00 AM

The Federal Reserve ventured into political territory yesterday by offering to directly finance U.S. companies, jumping ahead of Congress -- which is still negotiating similar assistance.

Unveiling unprecedented measures to shelter the economy from the coronavirus, the Fed acted as lawmakers continue to work on a $2 trillion dollar stimulus package.

“This is an all-out effort to ensure that the business sector can continue to exist even as economic activity temporarily collapses,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics. “The Fed is now effectively the direct lender of last resort to the real economy, not just the financial system.” ...