THE ECONOMY O.K., O.K., We Give In!

Less than an hour after the government reported the January rise in unemployment last Friday, interest rates began to fall. First the Federal Reserve Board chopped the discount rate it charges to member banks by half a percentage point, to 6%. Voila! Major commercial banks took the cue immediately, slashing the prime lending rate half a point, to 9%. As a result, consumers can expect to pay a little less for car loans, mortgages and other bank credit, which could help boost the economy out of the recession.

Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan had taken considerable heat earlier in the week for...

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