The Federal Reserve’s rescue has failed

The verdict is in. The Fed’s emergency rate cuts in January have failed to halt the downward spiral towards a full-blown debt deflation. Much more drastic action will be needed.

  The Federal Reserve building in Washington DC
The Federal Reserve building in Washington
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    Yields on two-year US Treasuries plummeted to 1.63pc on Friday in a flight to safety, foretelling financial winter.

    The debt markets are freezing ever deeper, a full eight months into the crunch. Contagion is spreading into the safest pockets of the US credit universe.

    It is hard to imagine a more plain-vanilla outfit than the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages bridges, bus terminals, and airports.

    The authority is a public body, backed by the two states. Yet it had to pay 20pc rates in February after the near closure of the $330bn (£166m) “term-auction” market. It had originally expected to pay 4.3pc, but that was aeons ago in financial time.

    “I never thought I would see anything like this in my life,” said James Steele, an HSBC economist in New York.
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