Fed may take boldest steps in a decade to ease virus impact

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CHRISTOPHER RUGABER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is all but sure to take its most drastic steps Wednesday since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis to try to counter the coronavirus' growing damage to the U.S. economy and the financial markets. With the virus' spread causing a widespread shutdown of economic activity in the United States, the Fed faces a daunting task. Its tools — intended to ease borrowing rates, facilitate lending and boost confidence — aren't ideally suited to offset a fear-driven halt in spending and traveling. Still, analysts expect the Fed to try. Some economists say the policymakers, led by Chair Jerome Powell, could cut their already low benchmark interest rate by up to a full percentage point. Not since December 2008 has
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