After global stock markets fell--and the U.S.'s Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 10,000 points for the first time since 2004-- the Federal Reserve announced it would create a new facility to buy the short-term debt (aka commercial paper) various companies hold. The "Commercial Paper Funding Facility" will "purchase three-month unsecured and asset-backed commercial paper" and "this facility should encourage investors to once again engage in term lending in the commercial paper market"--which is worth $1.6 trillion. Of course, it's unclear how much the Fed will ultimately buy.
The Dow opened up, but is, right now, basically unchanged (up 8 points; Nasdaq down 0.65%, S&P 500 down 0.08%). Still, this was good news to investors. Rosenblatt Securities' Gordon Charlop told CNBC, "Terrific news. Frees up money markets. If you just look around at some of the valuations ... book value versus earnings, there seems like there's some opportunities here." The NY Times points out this "move will put more taxpayer dollars at risk," but "it underscore the growing sense of urgency felt by policy makers in a climate where lending has virtually dried up."
Today, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will discuss the economic outlook at 1:15 p.m. (EST). And while the $700 billion bailout package President Bush signed into law may help companies in the U.S., many think economics around the world will fall into recession. Also: USA Today on the growing crisis of the economy.