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A Political Move by the Fed?

By David Wyss Today's decision by the Federal Reserve to cut the fed funds rate was not a surprise. But the size of the move (50 basis points) and the timing certainly were. S&P expected a rate cut at the January meeting of Fed policymakers -- but only 25 basis points.

The earlier and bigger cut is in large part political; there

seems to be no panic about the economy. A rate cut was due,

and sooner and bigger is better than later and smaller.

The increased sense of urgency is sending a message to the incoming Bush Administration: The Fed is on the job and will take care of the economy. Wyss is chief economist of Standard & Poor's

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