Federal Reserve begins policy meeting as economic damage mounts

Washington (AFP) – The US Federal Reserve opened its two-day policy meeting amid tentative signs the coronavirus lockdowns can be lifted, but rising evidence of the economic pain.It is the first meeting of the Fed’s policy-setting committee since it slashed the benchmark lending rate to zero in mid-March after holding two emergency meetings, so there is little left for the panel to do except offer reassurance.But with over 26 million jobs purged as businesses were forced to shut down to contain the outbreak, the Fed’s moves to pump cash into the economy are far more important than its policy s…

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