Global markets continue free fall as US Fed rolls out THIRD emergency program in 2 days & ECB announces €750bn ‘pandemic QE’

19.03.2020 07:35

Global markets continue free fall as US Fed rolls out THIRD emergency program in 2 days & ECB announces €750bn ‘pandemic QE’

The Federal Reserve has introduced yet another emergency measure, injecting liquidity into markets, after interventions by European, Australian, South Korean and Japanese authorities failed to halt the global economic meltdown.

The Fed announced the new Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) late on Wednesday night, creating a program similar to the one rolled out during the 2008 financial meltdown. Managed through the Fed’s branch in Boston, the facility will help banks keep up with investors pulling their funds out of money markets.

The European Central Bank (ECB), meanwhile, said it would buy up €750 billion ($820 billion) in bonds throughout 2020, injecting new money into Europe’s struggling economy in a bout of ‘pandemic quantitative easing’ – a move the bank hopes will stave off a coronavirus-induced recession.

In South Korea, President Moon Jae-in announced plans to provide 50 trillion won ($39 billion) in emergency financing, meant to shore up small businesses as the republic’s economy hits the doldrums amid the virus scare. Moon also said low interest loans would be available, as well as loan guarantees.

Another new round of quantitative easing was signaled by the Bank of Japan, offering to purchase 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) in government bonds, as desperate investors rapidly sold off bonds in an effort to raise cash.

Mirroring the Fed’s decision last week to slash interest rates to zero, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut rates down to a record-low 0.25 percent, while announcing plans for quantitative easing during an emergency meeting on Thursday. Details on the upcoming QE are expected to be released in the coming days.

Despite the procession of emergency measures implemented by governments and central banks the world over, global markets have continued to tank as the Covid-19 pandemic steadily expands. Stock indexes across North America, Europe and Asia have seen devastating losses in recent weeks, in some cases reversing years of gains in a matter of hours.