A week later, the Fed held an emergency meeting to cut its "discount rate" — the rate it charges on loans to banks. Then in September, the Fed cut its key short-term interest rate for the first time since 2003. The goal was to help ease loan rates throughout the economy. The Fed would cut the rate two more times in 2007 as the financial crisis worsened.
By the October meeting, Fed members expressed some relief that the crisis appeared to be contained, at least for the time being. Bernanke did acknowledge that there was "an unusual amount of uncertainty" surrounding the Fed's economic forecasts.
But in summing up the views of the committee members, Bernanke said, "In the aggregate data, there is yet no clear sign of a spillover from housing."
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