Staying the Course

Fed to Keep Low Rates

Keep the cheap cash flowing: The Federal Reserve pledged Wednesday to keep interest rates “exceptionally low” for “an extended period.” The Fed is hoping to fight off what Chairman Ben Bernanke has called “significant headwinds” of declining credit and continuing job losses. The benchmark overnight lending rate, which is the rate at which banks lend to each other, will remain between zero and 0.25 percent, where it has been for a year.