The Federal Reserve yesterday stunned investors by announcing plans to buy $300bn (£210bn) of US government debt, triggering a plunge in bond yields and the dollar.
In a further display of aggression, the US central bank also said it was more than doubling its purchases of securities issued by housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $1,450bn. It said it now expected to keep interest rates near zero for an “extended period” of time.
Goldman Sachs said the Fed was throwing the “kitchen sink” at the problem. The plan to buy Treasuries caught investors off guard. “It appears that they wanted to give the market a jolt,” said Peter Hooper, an economist at Deutsche Bank.