Foreign economies hit by crisis, cut interest rates

Posted: Updated:

After several weeks of economic meltdown on Wall Street and American Main Street, the crisis has gone global, forcing central banks across Europe and Asia to cut interest rates in order to save the local economies.

The chaos in the financial markets spread from Saudi Arabia to Japan, where the world?s second largest economy suffered one of the worst days in its history.

Central banks around the globe collaborated Wednesday by jointly cutting interest rates by a half point in attempt to rein in the financial meltdown.

In the U.S., the Federal Reserve also slashed interest rates by half a point, but the market reacted by zigzagging before plummeting, with the Dow losing 200 points for the day.

White House spokesperson Dana Perino said an economic turnaround will take time.

"All of these efforts aren't necessarily going to happen overnight," she said. "The work of the Fed, Treasury should help stem up the crisis."

Later in the day, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson called the decision made by foreign nations to cut rates "a welcome sign the central banks around the world will continue to support the global economy at this difficult time."

Paulson went on to say the financial turmoil may last until the government begins buying up all the troubled assets under the new $700 billion rescue package that was passed by Congress last week.

Click here for more on how the crisis affects women's health

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