Breaking news: Fed signs off on Bear bailout

Wow, three breaking news posts this week — surely an indoor record.

In any event, fire up the helicopters:

The Federal Reserve said Friday that it has voted to endorse an
arrangement to bolster troubled Bear Stearns Cos. and stands ready to
provide extra resources to combat a serious credit crisis.

The Fed announcement came in a brief two-sentence statement that was
issued as stocks were plunging on Wall Street over worries that a plan
to ease a liquidity crisis at Bear Stearns Cos. might not work.

Federal Reserve is monitoring market developments closely and will
continue to provide liquidity as necessary to promote the orderly
functioning of the financial system," the board said.

statement said that the board had voted unanimously to approve the
arrangment announced by JP Morgan Chase and Bear Stearns earlier on

The plan will provide secured funding to Bear Stearns for
an initial period of 28 days, seeking to provide short-term relief for
Bear Stearns.

Watching the ticker, I see the Street seems rather underwhelmed by this — maybe because neither JPMorgan nor the Fed are saying how much money's being pumped into Bear, which fessed up this morning that "our liquidity position in the last 24 hours had significantly deteriorated."

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