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Fed makes strongest bid yet to protect firms and governments

Posted at 9:31 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 21:31:44-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is unleashing its boldest effort yet to protect the U.S. economy from the coronavirus by helping companies and governments large and small pay their bills and survive a devastating crisis.

With lending in Treasury and mortgage markets at risk of clogging up, the Fed announced an aggressive set of programs to try to smooth out those markets.

To do so, it committed to buy as much government-backed debt as it deems necessary and — for the first time ever — corporate debt, too.

Its intervention is intended to ensure that households, companies, banks and governments can get the loans they need just as their own revenue is drying up as the economy stalls.