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Federal Reserve Bolsters Wall Street Banks

It's unclear whether the Federal Reserve will be able to pull Wall Street out of its tailspin, but the crisis clearly has kept Ben Bernanke working holidays and weekends. While Americans prepared for another week, the Federal Reserve was preparing an extraordinary series of moves.

First, it approved the sale of the investment bank Bear Stearns to JP Morgan Chase for what can only be described as a rock-bottom price. Then it decided to allow other Wall Street firms that may be in trouble to borrow directly from the Fed. It also cut a key interest rate.

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Steve Inskeep
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Jim Zarroli is an NPR correspondent based in New York. He covers economics and business news.