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Morning Brief: The Fed throws in the kitchen sink

Top Story In what’s being called a “shock and awe” strategy to fight the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve announced a series a of measures to inject an additional $1.2 trillion into the economy including purchasing $300 billion in treasury bonds and $750 billion in mortgage backed securities. Having already reduced the key interest rate ...

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CHICAGO - MARCH 18: A trader signals an offer in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index futures pit at the CME Group March 18, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The index rallied after the Federal Reserve announced it would buy $300 billion of long term Treasury bonds to help stimulate the economy. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Top Story

In what’s being called a “shock and awe” strategy to fight the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve announced a series a of measures to inject an additional $1.2 trillion into the economy including purchasing $300 billion in treasury bonds and $750 billion in mortgage backed securities. Having already reduced the key interest rate to zero, the Fed is increasingly turning to more unorthodox methods to pump money into the economy. The stock market rallied with the news but the value of the dollar declined sharply. 

Experts worry that the dramatic expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet could make it harder to reduce the money supply once the economy starts to recover, causing inflation.

Africa

A new audiotape reported to be recorded by Osama bin Laden calls for Somalis to overthrow their new president.

As the Pope continued his tour of Africa, the Vatican defended his stance on condoms.

Madagascar’s coup d’etat is not going over well internationally.

Middle East

Israel has detained 10 senior Hamas leaders in the West Bank.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad expressed strong praise for President Obama and said he was hoping for a meeting with him.

The Israeli army is investigating reports of abuses committed during the invasion of Gaza.

Asia

Japan is preparing missile interceptors to preparation for North Korea’s planned launch.

An Afghan politician who criticized the Taliban was killed by a roadside bomb.

China has blocked Coca-Cola from taking over a local juice-maker over monopoly concerns.

Europe and Caucasus

EU leaders are meeting today to discuss a small energy-focused stimulus plan.

Workers throughout France are striking today, demanding that President Nicolas Sarkozy do more to address the financial crisis.

Azerbaijan voted to scrap term limits, opening the door for indefinite rule by President Ilham Aliyev.

Americas

Some AIG executive have agreed to give back their bonuses.

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson signed a law banning the death penalty in his state.

The U.S. is sending federal agents to its southwest border to help fight Mexican drug cartels.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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