The Federal Reserve cut rates on Tuesday in an unprecedented effort to soften the effect that coronavirus might have on the US economy.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. economic outlook was at risk due to the #coronavirus outbreak, which led the Fed to slash interest rates by half a percentage point. More here: https://t.co/24Nfpe8WpP pic.twitter.com/tZg46casJ6
— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) March 4, 2020
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced a $50 BILLION loan program to help countries prepare and cope with the disease. CNBC reports:
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced a $50 billion aid package Wednesday to help fight the coronavirus.
Georgieva said on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” that the money is available “immediately” and is for low-income and emerging market countries.
Most of the money will be interest-free, and countries do not need to have a preexisting program with the IMF to participate, she said.
“What we’re doing right now is reviewing country by country what are the financial needs, and engaging with these countries to make sure they are aware of this resource and we can immediately respond to them,” Georgieva said. “We’re in an early stage of engagement, but I can assure you that we will act very quickly as requests come.”
The World Bank is also rushing into the fray, offering $12 BILLION to help countries purchase improve their public health response. The BBC reports:
The World Bank has committed $12bn (£9.4bn) in aid for developing countries grappling with the spread of the coronavirus.
The emergency package includes low-cost loans, grants and technical assistance.
The action comes as leaders around the world pledge to shield their countries from the economic impact of the outbreak.
It follows warnings that slowdown from the outbreak could tip countries into recession.
The aid is intended to help countries improve their public health response to the crisis, as well as work with the private sector to reduce the economic impact.
“What we’re trying to do is limit the transmission of the disease,” World Bank Group President David Malpass told the BBC.