Not Enough for Wall Street

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NEW YORK: Greenspan gave Wall Street a quarter point; it wanted a mile. The Dow's instant 90-point sell-off on the Fed's rate-cut announcement, however, was quickly cushioned by traders' familiarity with the poker-faced Fed chairman's incremental habits. "Traders were disappointed, but they know Greenspan moves gradually," says TIME business reporter Bernard Baumohl. "Now he'll likely push for another quarter point when the FOMC meets again on November 17, and possibly a third time at the next meeting on December 22."

In the meantime, Greenspan will have to make do with the gratitude of the rest of the world. The rate cut figures to weaken the U.S. dollar and take pressure off the dollar-pegged currencies of Hong Kong and much of Latin America. Asian nations bogged down in dollar debt will suddenly find their bills easier to pay off. But Father Greenspan's greatest gift Tuesday was the gift of hope. "The tide has turned at the Fed," says Baumohl. "He's officially acknowledged that the global economy is derailed, and that he's willing to do something about it." Listen beyond ungrateful Wall Street and you can almost hear the cheering.