Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke says he is prepared to cut interest rates further to cushion the economy and offset continuing problems in the housing and credit markets. The Fed has already cut the target federal funds rate by 100 basis points due to tighter credit conditions and a weakening housing market. "However, in light of recent changes in the outlook and risks to growth, additional policy easing may well be necessary," Mr. Bernanke said at a luncheon sponsored by Women in Housing and Finance and the Exchequer Club. In response to a question, Mr. Bernanke said the success of the Hope Now effort to refinance and modify adjustable-rate subprime mortgages is important not just for the borrowers, but also for the housing market and the broader economy.

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