Selected members of the Federal Reserve end a key two-day meeting Wednesday and will issue a policy statement this afternoon where may announce additional steps to combat the economic crisis beyond cutting already low interest rates.
With the current key interest rate between 0 percent an 0.25 percent, among the options available are to buy up more U.S. government securities and company bonds to spur lending activity.
The Fed may choose to expand a program set to start in February which will boost the availability of consumer loans. The $200 billion program buys securities from companies which provide loans for cars, students and credit cards. Giving the companies more capital is intended to get them to provide more loans.
The Fed may also put additional effort into bolstering the housing market, buying up more mortgage-backed securities from government sponsored mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.