“High yield” savings rates are headed lower

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  • The central bank announces it’s taking down its benchmark overnight lending rate to a target range of 1.75% to 2%.
  • According to the Fed’s “dot plot” of individual expectations, five members thought the FOMC should have held its previous range of 2% to 2.25%, five approved of the 25 basis point cut but keeping rates there through the rest of the year, and seven favored at least one more cut this year.
  • The committee again cites “the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures” as the primary rationale for Wednesday’s cut.

The Federal Reserve approved a much-anticipated quarter-point interest rate cut Wednesday but offered few indications that further reductions are ahead as members split on what to do next.

Following its two-day policy meeting, the central bank announced that it would take down its benchmark overnight lending rate to a target range of 1.75% to 2%. That comes nearly two months after the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee went ahead with its first cut in 11 years.

Major U.S. stock exchanges dropped after the decision was announced.

In addition to the reduction, the Fed cut the interest it pays on excess reserves by 30 basis points, greater than the funds rate cut, amid a breakdown this week in the overnight repurchase lending market. The move was aimed at keeping the funds rate within its target range; the interest on excessive reserves (IOER) historically has acted as a guardrail for the funds rate, which traded 5 basis points above the target.

While the committee as a whole has not pointed to further cuts, divisions remain among individual policymakers. Three Fed regional presidents — Esther George of Kansas City, Eric Rosengren of Boston and James Bullard of St. Louis — each voted no. George and Rosengren have said they prefer to keep the funds rate steady while Bullard has advocated for a 50 basis point cut.



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