Jolted by global recession fears, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates Tuesday, and President Bush and leaders of Congress joined in a rare show of cooperation in promising urgent action to pump up the economy with upwards of $150 billion in tax cuts and government spending.
Market meltdowns overnight around the globe and growing anxiety at home stirred lawmakers and the administration toward swift action, possibly within a few weeks. Wall Street plummeted as the day began, following Asian stocks, then warily eased its sell-off after the Fed ordered the biggest cut on record in a key interest rate. The Dow Jones industrials, down 465 points at one point, closed the day off 128.
The Fed, announcing its action after an emergency video conference Monday night, indicated further rate reductions were likely, aimed at encouraging people and companies to start spending again.