Hedge funds gain access to $200bn Fed aid

The Fed is destroying the dollar and the economy. This mess will be far worse than the Great Depression.

The Neo-Alchemy of the Federal Reserve by Ron Paul
Ron Paul: “We are in the midst of nationalization”

Jim Rogers: If Obamanomics happens it’s all over
Jim Rogers: “America is out of control”
Jim Rogers: The Larger US Banks Are Bankrupt, Totally Bankrupt
Interview with Peter Schiff (12/13/08)
Interview: Peter Schiff still grim on future
Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 – 2007 (2nd Edition)
Peter Schiff: Low Rates, Big Problems
Peter Schiff: The Economic Crisis Is Only Just Beginning (Nov. 24, 2008)
Federal Reserve Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion

Hedge funds will be allowed to borrow from the Federal Reserve for the first time under a landmark $200bn programme intended to support consumer credit.

The Fed said on Friday it would offer low-cost three-year funding to any US company investing in securitised consumer loans under the Term Asset-backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).

This includes hedge funds, which have never been able to borrow from the US central bank before, although the Fed may not permit hedge funds to use offshore vehicles to conduct the transactions.

The asset-backed securities to be funded under the programme are pools of credit card receivables, automobile loans and student loans.

The idea is to increase the supply of these loans and reduce borrowing rates by ensuring that the companies that make the loans can sell them on to investors who have guaranteed access to low-cost funding from the Fed.

The TALF is a key plank of the unorthodox strategy set out by the Fed last week as it cut interest rates virtually to zero. Washington insiders expect the programme will be dramatically expanded next year with further capital support from Treasury once the Obama administration takes office.

A senior official in the outgoing Bush administration told the Financial Times it could also be broadened to include new commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities.

Read moreHedge funds gain access to $200bn Fed aid

Hans Blix Would Testify Against Bush-Cheney War Crimes

On their History Rewrite Tour, Bush and Cheney insist the pre-war intelligence about Iraq’s WMD’s was bad and they were innocent dupes.

Of course we all know the truth from the Downing Street Memos and dozens of other sources, which is that “the intelligence and facts were fixed” around the policy of invasion. And here’s one more damning piece of evidence, courtesy of Roads to Iraq. (The Aljazeera link is in Arabic – someone needs to translate it.)

In an interview with Aljazeera today, former Chief of the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq told the TV that he and the Head of the IAEA “Mohamed Al-Baradei” were subjected to direct threats from Dick Cheney before the war.

Blix said that Cheney threatened to defame both men’s reputations if they didn’t came with the “required” answers.

It’s the same story from everyone else – Bush and Cheney demanded pro-war lies under one threat or another – being defamed, getting fired, and even outing covert CIA operatives. The Bush Administration was nothing more than a mafia operation.

But here’s the good part:

Blix also added that he is ready to be a witness on the United States’ false allegations before an International tribunal.

You go, Hans!

Submitted by Bob Fertik on December 21, 2008

Source: Democrats.com

Israeli blockade ‘forces Palestinians to search rubbish dumps for food’

UN fears irreversible damage is being done in Gaza as new statistics reveal the level of deprivation

Impoverished Palestinians on the Gaza Strip are being forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps to survive as Israel’s economic blockade risks causing irreversible damage, according to international observers.

Figures released last week by the UN Relief and Works Agency reveal that the economic blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza in July last year has had a devastating impact on the local population. Large numbers of Palestinians are unable to afford the high prices of food being smuggled through the Hamas-controlled tunnels to the Strip from Egypt and last week were confronted with the suspension of UN food and cash distribution as a result of the siege.

The figures collected by the UN agency show that 51.8% – an “unprecedentedly high” number of Gaza’s 1.5 million population – are now living below the poverty line. The agency announced last week that it had been forced to stop distributing food rations to the 750,000 people in need and had also suspended cash distributions to 94,000 of the most disadvantaged who were unable to afford the high prices being asked for smuggled food.

“Things have been getting worse and worse,” said Chris Gunness of the agency yesterday. “It is the first time we have been seeing people picking through the rubbish like this looking for things to eat. Things are particularly bad in Gaza City where the population is most dense.

Read moreIsraeli blockade ‘forces Palestinians to search rubbish dumps for food’

Bush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation


Contact: Ilene Proctor PR, +1-310-858-6643

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush’s 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell’s activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would “throw [him] under the bus.”

A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

On October 31, Mr. Connell appeared before a federal judge in Ohio after being subpoenaed in a federal lawsuit investigating the rigging of the 2004 election under the direction of Karl Rove. The judge ordered Mr. Connell to testify under oath at a deposition on November 3rd, the day before the presidential election. Velvet Revolution received confidential information that the White House was extremely concerned about Mr. Connell talking about his illegal work for the White House and two Bush/Cheney 04 attorneys were dispatched to represent him.

Read moreBush Insider Who Planned To Tell All Killed In Plane Crash: Non-Profit Demands Full Federal Investigation

One of my sources died in a plane crash last night…

UPDATED BELOW (1, 2, and 3)

I don’t usually reveal sources, but I think this is incredibly important. Michael Connell died in a plane crash last night. He was a key witness in the Ohio election fraud case that I have been reporting on. More importantly, however, he had information that he was ready to share.

You see, Mike Connell set-up the alternate email and communications system for the White House. He was responsible for creating the system that hosted the infamous GWB43.com accounts that Karl Rove and others used. When asked by Congress to provide these emails, the White House said that they were destroyed. But in reality, what Connell is alleged to have done is move these files to other servers after having allegedly scrubbed the files from all “known” Karl Rove accounts.

In addition, I have reason to believe that the alternate accounts were used to communicate with US Attorneys involved in political prosecutions, like that of Don Siegelman. This is what I have been working on to prove for over a year. In fact, it was through following the Siegelman-Rove trail that I found evidence leading to Connell. That is how I became aware of him. Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened.

He has flown his private plane for years without incident. I know he was going to DC last night, but I don’t know why. He apparently (did not) ran out of gas, something I find hard to believe. (See Update 3 below). I am not saying that this was a hit nor am I resigned to this being simply an accident either. I am no expert on aviation and cannot provide an opinion on the matter. What I am saying, however, is that given the context, this event needs to be examined carefully. If you want to understand the context more broadly, I suggest you read this article I did a while back about the break-ins and arson cases that Siegelman and others have experienced.

Read moreOne of my sources died in a plane crash last night…

Keith Olbermann refers to Bush 9/11 ‘lies’ as ‘Insult the Dead-gate’

As the departing Bush administration frantically attempts to shore up its place in history, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann stands ready to kick the props out from under it again. A renewed claim that “no one could have anticipated” the attacks of 9/11 attracted his scorn in particular on Thursday’s Countdown.

“This is a White House talking point still, even though your average three-year-old could disprove it using an etch-a-sketch.” Olbermann sneered on Thursday, over the heading, “Insult the Dead-gate.”

Olbermann’s specific target was White House press spokesman Tony Fratto, who responded to a Fox News interviewer’s suggestion on Wednesday that before 9/11, “nobody was thinking that there’d be terrorists flying 767s into buildings” by agreeing, “No one could have anticipated that kind of attack — or very few people.”

“Yeah, well, it ain’t true,” Olbermann remarked, with open contempt dripping from his words, “and out of respect for the people who died that day you damn well better stop saying it.”

Olbermann then ran through a list of pre-9/11 warnings of potential al Qaeda hijackings, noting, “A president’s daily brief as far back as December 1998 said bin Laden was ‘preparing to hijack US aircraft in hopes of trading hostages for jailed radicals.’ … The August 6, 2001 brief, of course, told President Bush — if he read it — that there were ‘patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.'”

Olbermann did not mention either the use of airplanes as weapons by the Japanese kamikaze suicide pilots during World War II or the abortive al Qaeda plot of the 1990’s known as Project Bojinka, which would have involved both blowing up airliners and crashing a plane into CIA headquarters in Virginia and which may have been the inspiration for 9/11.

“That Mr. Fratto’s employers might not have been expected to know the exact hour of these attacks,” concluded Olbermann, “does not give him or anybody else the right to perpetuate the lie that 9/11 was impossible to conceive. Clearly, many inside this nation’s government anticipated it. It was Mr. Bush and his gang who chose to ignore them.”

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Dec. 18, 2008.

Download video via RawReplay.com

Read moreKeith Olbermann refers to Bush 9/11 ‘lies’ as ‘Insult the Dead-gate’

Biden: U.S. Economy in Danger of ‘Absolutely Tanking’

Joe Biden, the future vice president, sits down with George Stephanopoulos exclusively Sunday, Dec. 21, in his first interview as vice president-elect. File photo: Biden applauds during the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008. Collapse
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Vice President-Elect Joe Biden said the U.S. economy is in danger of “absolutely tanking” and will need a second stimulus package in the $600-billion to $700-billion range.

“The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in,” Biden told me during an exclusive interview — his first since becoming vice president-elect–  to air this Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

“There is no short run other than keeping the economy from absolutely tanking. That’s the only short run,” Biden told me.

Read moreBiden: U.S. Economy in Danger of ‘Absolutely Tanking’

Schwarzenegger Orders Unpaid Leave for State Workers

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) — California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today ordered all state workers to take two days of unpaid leave each month to conserve money amid a record budget deficit and a legislative impasse over how to fix it.

The furloughs will begin in February and will last through June 2010, Schwarzenegger said in an executive order. He also ordered all departments to cut 10 percent of their workforce costs, through firings if necessary.

“Every California family and business has been forced to cut back during these difficult economic times, and state government cannot be exempt from similar belt tightening,” Schwarzenegger said in a letter to state workers.

Read moreSchwarzenegger Orders Unpaid Leave for State Workers

Bush Gives Emergency Loans to Automakers: A $17.4 Billion, 3-Month Lifeline

WASHINGTON – President Bush agreed to an emergency bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, giving them a few months to get their businesses in order, but left to President-elect Barack Obama the difficult political decision of ruling on their progress.

The president’s plan gives carmakers until March 31 to restructure.
Doug Mills/The New York Times

The plan pumps $13.4 billion by mid-January into the companies from the fund that Congress authorized to rescue the financial industry. But the two companies have until March 31 to produce a plan for long-term profitability, including concessions from unions, creditors, suppliers and dealers.

The bailout plan sets “targets” rather than concrete requirements about what those concessions may be, meaning that Mr. Obama and his advisers have enormous latitude to decide how to define long-term viability.

Read moreBush Gives Emergency Loans to Automakers: A $17.4 Billion, 3-Month Lifeline

Stocks Jump, Then Slide Back, After Auto Bailout

A huge bailout for Detroit was barely able to budge Wall Street on Friday.

Stock markets surged in early trading after President Bush announced plans to extend $13.4 billion in emergency loans to the troubled automakers General Motors and Chrysler. But Wall Street’s reaction cooled, the morning’s early gains eroded, and markets ended mixed.

Read moreStocks Jump, Then Slide Back, After Auto Bailout

The pound is suffering its worst slide since 1931

In 1992 Gordon Brown himself said: “A weak currency arises from a weak economy which in turn is the result of a weak Government.”

The pound is suffering its worst slide since Britain was forced off the gold standard in 1931.

Sterling dipped closer to parity against the euro, with the single currency now worth more than 95p for the first time ever. The pound’s fall came amid fast-growing disquiet about the fate of the UK economy and consumer sentiment next year.

The pound has now fallen by 23pc against a basket of other currencies, according to figures from the Bank of England. The fall is sharper than the devaluations in 1992, after leaving the Exchange Rate Mechanism, 1976, when the International Monetary Fund was forced to intervene, and 1949, when a host of countries slumped against the dollar.

Read moreThe pound is suffering its worst slide since 1931

The biggest Ponzi scheme: Bernard Madoff’s or the British Government’s?

Just as Bernard Madoff is alleged to have relied on payments in from new investors to pay out returns and promote a $50 billion (£33 billion) fund that scarcely existed, our Government continues to issue promises which it hopes future generations will honour.

The biggest Ponzi scheme: Bernard Madoff’s or our Government’s? Photo: BLOOMBERG

Christmas came early this week for 95,000 public sector pensioners. After questioning in the House of Commons, Cabinet Office Minister Liam Byrne admitted that they had been overpaid a total of £126m since 1978 but emphasised that they would not be required to pay the money back.

Particularly at this time of year, it makes a pleasant change to see some pensioners actually gaining from the sort of bureaucratic bungling with which we are now so wearily familiar and utterly fed up. All things considered, most people will be willing to set aside any Scrooge-like tendency to ponder upon who is paying for the politician to pose as Father Christmas.

However, a slight chill is placed on this cheery scene when you consider the uncertainty which these pensioners now face over what they will have to live on next year after their incomes are cut to the correct level. Perhaps equally galling, from the point of view of the majority who live in England, is the news from Scotland that the minority who are in receipt of overpayments north of the border will continue to be overpaid for as long as they live.

Read moreThe biggest Ponzi scheme: Bernard Madoff’s or the British Government’s?

The Neo-Alchemy of the Federal Reserve by Ron Paul

As the printing presses for the bailouts run at full speed, those in power are no longer even pretending that the new giveaways will fix our problems. Now that we are used to rewarding failure with taxpayer-funded bailouts, we are being told that this is “just a start,” more funds will inevitably be needed for more industries, and that things would be much worse had we done nothing.

The updated total bailout commitments add up to over $8 trillion now. This translates into a monetary base increase of 75 percent over the last two months. This money does not come from some rainy day fund tucked away in the budget somewhere – it is created from thin air, and devalues every dollar in circulation. Dumping money on an economy, as they have been doing, is not the same as dumping wealth. In fact, it has quite the opposite effect.

One key attribute that gives money value is scarcity. If something that is used as money becomes too plentiful, it loses value. That is how inflation and hyperinflation happens. Giving a central bank the power to create fiat money out of thin air creates the tremendous risk of eventual hyperinflation. Most of the founding fathers did not want a central bank. Having just experienced the hyperinflation of the Continental dollar, they understood the power and the temptations inherent in that type of system. It gives one entity far too much power to control and destabilize the economy.

Read moreThe Neo-Alchemy of the Federal Reserve by Ron Paul

Japan Will Buy 20 Trillion Yen of Bank-Held Stocks

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) — Japan’s government will buy as much as 20 trillion yen ($223 billion) of shares held by banks, the Cabinet Office said in a statement in Tokyo today.

The amount is part of a stimulus package totaling about 75 trillion yen, the statement said. An additional 10 trillion yen of the package will be devoted to making capital injections into banks.

Read moreJapan Will Buy 20 Trillion Yen of Bank-Held Stocks

New economic policy: If you haven’t got enough of this stuff, just print some more

Creating money out of thin air creates inflation. Even Bernanke admitted – questioned by Ron Paul – that inflation is a tax. So the government and the banksters want to tax you without you knowing it. They just want to keep the system afloat until ‘they are ready’ to let it fail. They are about to create the worst depression ever.

Putting more money into the system - or ‘quantitative easing' - is a move that may be adopted by central banks across the world
Putting more money into the system – or ‘quantitative easing’ – is a move that may be adopted by central banks across the world

KEEP up at the back. The new big thing to save the world economy is “quantitative easing”. Not an upmarket euphemism for a massage, but the latest and most desperate measure yet by central banks to stop a severe recession turning into depression. And it may soon be adopted in the UK.

Quantitative easing is the elegant, sanitised term for the process by which a central bank fends off the threat of deflation by effectively printing new money, or increasing its supply.

A simple model would work like this: the government issues bonds and sells them, directly or otherwise, to the central bank. The bank creates new money for this purpose and pays the government for those bonds. The money is then used by the government to stimulate the economy through public works and infrastructure projects.

Magic new money: have we really walked into this Last Chance Saloon? Yes, we have.

In an extraordinary statement on Tuesday evening, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, announced he was cutting the Federal Funds rate, the bank’s key interest rate tool, to a record low of between zero and 0.25 per cent. That’s zero, as in nothing. Not even in the Great Depression were interest rates in the United States brought so low.

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However, it was the accompanying statement that let the move to “quantitative easing” out of the bag. He said the Fed “will employ all available tools” and would buy “large quantities of agency debt and mortgage-backed securities to provide support to the mortgage and housing markets”. (“Agency debt” is a bond, issued by a US government-sponsored agency, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae.)

He also let fall that the Fed would consider buying “longer term Treasury securities” – the government’s own debt. This would enable the Fed to bring down the long-term cost of money, thus bringing down US mortgage rates, to put more money into circulation and, not least, to bail out the government by soaking up some of its exploding deficit.

Read moreNew economic policy: If you haven’t got enough of this stuff, just print some more

Russia provides 10 MiG fighter jets to Lebanon for free

Russian MIG-29 fighters
(Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia gave Lebanon ten MiG fighter jets yesterday in a deal to boost defence cooperation.

The MiG29 Fulcrum fighters would be provided free to Lebanon under an agreement on military-technical assistance, the head of Russia’s defence cooperation service said. Mikhail Dmitryev said that the jets would come from Russia’s existing stock.

He said that Moscow was also in talks to supply Beirut with heavy armour, adding that supplies of such weaponry were “now possible after the situation in this nation has stabilised”.

He said: “We view the Lebanese army as the main guarantor of this nation’s stability, therefore the armed forces of this country must be strengthened.” The deal followed a meeting in Moscow between Anatoly Serdyukov, the Defence Minister, and Elias Murrhis, his Lebanese counterpart. Mr Serdyukov said that Russia had received a detailed list of armaments sought by Lebanon.

Read moreRussia provides 10 MiG fighter jets to Lebanon for free

American commandos get UN go-ahead to hunt down Somali pirates

Pirates operating from safe havens along the Somali coast could become the target of hot-pursuit missions by American commandos for the first time, after approval was given by the United Nations Security Council to launch land and air attacks on pirate bases.

The Americans had sought a new robust mandate to attack the pirates at source to ensure that there was legal backing for chasing those who escaped confrontations at sea and headed for the safety of lawless Somalia.

Many of the most successful pirates are rich home-owners, living along the coast in a strip of expensive houses bought with the ransoms paid by shipping companies for the release of hijacked vessels.

Yesterday, in another example of the more aggressive stance taken by the international community against the pirates, the Chinese crew of a pirate-seized vessel, later aided by helicopters from a US-led maritime coalition force, fought off the would-be hijackers.

The 30 crew members of the Chinese-owned vessel, the Zhenhua 4, sailing in the Gulf of Aden, foiled the pirates by locking themselves in their cabins and radioing for help. A warship from Combined Task Force 150, an American-led naval group operating around the Horn of Africa, sent two helicopters which fired on the pirates. CTF 150, based in Bahrain, is a coalition of 20 nations, including Britain.

Read moreAmerican commandos get UN go-ahead to hunt down Somali pirates

‘I was still holding my grandson’s hand – the rest was gone’

In the second of our series of dispatches from the ravaged country, Afghans explain how mounting civilian casualties are aiding Taliban recruiting

Clancy Chassay on Afghanistan‘s civilian casualties Link to this video

It was 7.30 on a hot July morning when the plane came swooping low over the remote ravine. Below, a bridal party was making its way to the groom’s village in an area called Kamala, in the eastern province of Nangarhar, to prepare for the celebrations later that day.

The first bomb hit a large group of children who had run on ahead of the main procession. It killed most of them instantly.

A few minutes later, the plane returned and dropped another bomb, right in the centre of the group. This time the victims were almost all women. Somehow the bride and two girls survived but as they scrambled down the hillside, desperately trying to get away from the plane, a third bomb caught them. Hajj Khan was one of four elderly men escorting the bride’s party that day.

“We were walking, I was holding my grandson’s hand, then there was a loud noise and everything went white. When I opened my eyes, everybody was screaming. I was lying metres from where I had been, I was still holding my grandson’s hand but the rest of him was gone. I looked around and saw pieces of bodies everywhere. I couldn’t make out which part was which.”

Relatives from the groom’s village said it was impossible to identify the remains. They buried the 47 victims in 28 graves.

Stories like this are relatively common in today’s Afghanistan. More than 600 civilians have died in Nato and US air strikes this year. The number of innocents killed this way has almost doubled from last year, and tripled from the year before that. These attacks are weakening support for the Afghan government and turning more and more people against the foreign occupation of the country.

Read more‘I was still holding my grandson’s hand – the rest was gone’

Career Army officer sues Rumsfeld, Cheney, saying no evacuation order given on 9/11

A career Army officer who survived the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, claims that no evacuation was ordered inside the Pentagon, despite flight controllers calling in warnings of approaching hijacked aircraft nearly 20 minutes before the building was struck.

According to a time-line of the attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration notified NORAD that American Airlines Flight 77 had been hijacked at 9:24 a.m. The Pentagon was not struck until 9:43 a.m.

On behalf of retired Army officer April Gallop, California attorney William Veale has filed a civil suit against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and former US Air Force General Richard Myers, who was acting chairman of the joint chiefs on 9/11. It alleges they engaged in conspiracy to facilitate the terrorist attacks and purposefully failed to warn those inside the Pentagon, contributing to injuries she and her two-month-old son incurred.

Related article: Government Insider: Bush Authorized 9/11 Attacks

“The ex-G.I. plaintiff alleges she has been denied government support since then, because she raised ‘painful questions’ about the inexplicable failure of military defenses at the Pentagon that day, and especially the failure of officials to warn and evacuate the occupants of the building when they knew the attack was imminent” said Veale in a media advisory.

Gallop also says she heard two loud explosions, and does not believe that a Boeing 757 hit the building. Her son sustained a serious brain injury, and Gallop herself was knocked unconscious after the roof collapsed onto her office.

The suit also named additional, unknown persons who had foreknowledge of the attacks.

“What they don’t want is for this to go into discovery,” said Gallop’s attorney, Mr. Veale, speaking to RAW STORY. “If we can make it past their initial motion to dismiss these claims, and we get the power of subpoena, then we’ve got a real shot at getting to the bottom of this. We’ve got the law on our side.”

The lawsuit’s full text follows.

Read moreCareer Army officer sues Rumsfeld, Cheney, saying no evacuation order given on 9/11

Analysts say Federal Reserve has fired all shots in its armoury

Shares soared on Wall Street last night, but the dollar tumbled after the US Federal Reserve’s shock decision effectively to cut American official interest rates to zero.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped by more than 359.61 points, or 4.2 per cent, as markets hailed the US central bank’s landmark move to cut its key Fed Funds rate from a previous record low of 1 per cent to a target range of zero to 0.25 per cent.

The broader-based S&P 500 index of US blue chip shares also surged by more than 5 per cent as investors cheered the Fed’s decision to combine last night’s historic cut in rates with a raft of other ground-breaking steps to combat the economic slump.

Related article: Fed throws out the rulebook

The Fed fulfilled predictions that it would announce extraordinary moves to bolster America’s economy through so-called “quantitative easing”. It confirmed that it will buy up “large quantities” of mortgage-backed securities to try to ease the flow of lending to a slumping US housing market.

Read moreAnalysts say Federal Reserve has fired all shots in its armoury