Episode 152
Mar 3, 2020

What did the Fed just do?

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To try and contain the economic fallout of COVID-19, the Federal Reserve just cut rates by a half point. Today, what that means and why it matters.

As if you needed more evidence that the COVID-19 outbreak has ripple effects through the economy, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a half point this morning.

Adjusting the federal funds rate between meetings is a highly unusual move, one we haven’t seen since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. Stocks and bonds both surged on the news before sliding back into their drop from the past week. President Donald Trump tweeted that the cut was not enough.

So we’re going to take some time today to talk though what that cut means, what the Fed is saying about coronavirus, the market reaction and whether or not we should even care about stocks when there’s a pandemic brewing.

Plus, we’ll hear some of your reaction to our housing episode and look into the rules around price gouging. Consult this map before you drop hundreds of dollars on some Purell.

Blue states have laws against price gouging; gold states do not.

When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for new daily Alexa explainers, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter. If you missed it, here’s last week’s issue.

Finally, we just kicked off a mini spring pledge drive with a super deal for Super Tuesday: Get our new Marketplace T-shirt with a donation of just $30 for a limited time. Details here.

The team

Molly Wood Host
Jody Becker Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Sam Anderson Associate Producer

We’re here for you.

As COVID-19 reshapes our economy, our newsletter will help you unpack the news from the day.