2008_10_ws30.jpgAfter the Federal Reserve cut the key interest rate to 1% yesterday, stock futures are pointing "sharply" higher; CNBC says, "investors around the world seemed cautiously reassured by the latest steps taken by authorities to calm the credit crisis." Tokyo's Nikkei went up almost 10%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng increased almost 13%, and European markets are also up. The big news: GDP data, which shows, as Bloomberg News puts it, "The U.S. economy shrank in the third quarter by the most since the 2001 recession as the record two- decade expansion in consumer spending came to an end." A Detusche Bank economist says, "The fourth quarter is going to be much worse as the crescendo of financial disruption reached a high point this month. We're going to have a prolonged recession."