In an unprecedented move, six of the world’s most important central banks, including the Bank of England, US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, yesterday announced simultaneous emergency interest rate cuts of half a percentage point.

The historic piece of co-ordination marks an effort to curb the risk that the intensification of the credit crisis could lead to a severe global recession. Policymakers hope the move will shore up confidence and help shock the credit markets back to life.

Meanwhile, Hank Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, signalled that the US authorities will use emergency powers to ensure there are no more disorderly failures of US financial institutions.

Financial Times