On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve took the unprecedented step of joining five other central banks to cut interest rates a half percentage point in an effort to contain the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson: “Governments have and must continue to take individual and collective actions to provide much-needed liquidity, strengthen financial institutions to the provisions of capital and the disposition of troubled assets, prevent market abuse and protect the savings of our citizens. We must also take care to ensure that our actions are closely coordinated and communicated, so that the action of one country does not come at the expense of others or the stability of the system as a whole.”
Despite the emergency action, stocks continued to fall around the globe. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for a sixth consecutive day. BusinessWeek reports the Dow has lost about 30 percent of its value this year, making it the worst year for the Dow since 1937. The International Monetary Fund is predicting the US slowdown will last years and that the world economy will slow sharply.