1. Wall Street Journal – The U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank launched a joint action to provide cheap, emergency U.S. dollar loans to banks in Europe and elsewhere, a sign of growing alarm among policy makers about stresses in Europe and in the global financial system.
The coordinated action doesn’t directly address Europe’s government-debt and budget woes. Instead, it is aimed at alleviating the impact of those troubles on global markets. Moreover, it raises the prospect of other steps by central bankers to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.
2. NY Times – Faced with an economy that appears to be slowing faster than economists expected even a month ago, the Chinese government on Wednesday evening unexpectedly reversed its year-long move toward tighter monetary policy and took an important step to encourage banks to resume lending.
The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, cut the reserve requirement ratio by 0.5 percentage points as of Monday, to 21 percent for large banks and to 19 percent for smaller banks.
Real estate developers, small businesses and other borrowers have been complaining strenuously in recent weeks of weakening sales and scarce credit. Prices have dropped up to 28 percent for new apartments in some Chinese cities this autumn, real estate brokers have been laying off thousands of agents as transactions have dried up, and export orders have slumped.