LIers wait as Fed expected to slash interest rate

With the Federal Reserve prepared to meet this week about interest rates, many Long Islanders are hoping a cut will translate to financial relief. The Fed will meet Tuesday, and it's widely believed

News 12 Staff

Sep 19, 2007, 5:16 PM

Updated 6,153 days ago

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With the Federal Reserve prepared to meet this week about interest rates, many Long Islanders are hoping a cut will translate to financial relief.
The Fed will meet Tuesday, and it's widely believed that decision-makers will cut a key interest rate of 5.25 percent by at least a quarter-point. Other analysts predict the Fed will cut the rate by a half-point.
A reduction in the rate would be the first in almost five years.
Michael George, who is trying to sell his Staten Island home to finance a move to Long Island, welcomed the idea. "It'll be easier for me to sell my house if the interest rate goes down," he said. "I hope my buyer will be able to finance it."
Experts agree that if the Fed slashes the rate, it would likely prevent a housing meltdown and credit crunch from driving the economy into a recession. They also say homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages would also benefit.
Some economists warn there is a downside to a reduction, and they say that's probably why the Fed has held off for so long.
"If you lower rates, you can lead to an even weaker dollar and this causes more expensive imports and more inflation," said Long Island Association Chief Economist Pearl Kamer. "So, the Fed was really caught between the hard place and the rock."


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