AmEx Gets Full Bank Status

On the heels of American Express’ reported 24 percent drop in quarterly profit, the Federal Reserve has granted its request to become a bank holding company. What does the new status give the credit card giant? Coveted low-cost financing from the Fed, The Wall Street Journal reports—a lifeline for the company, which announced last month it would cut 7,000 jobs. “In light of the unusual and exigent circumstances affecting the financial markets, and all other facts and circumstances, the [Federal Reserve] Board has determined that emergency conditions exist that justify expeditious action on this proposal,” the Fed said in a statement.