(Bloomberg) — All of Wall Street’s eyes are on Washington again, but only Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is catching its gaze.
With few encouraging signs of a comprehensive fiscal policy response from the U.S. government to the coronavirus, investors are looking to the central bank to fill the vacuum. It unleashed a trillion dollars but failed to halt the stock market rout. That has investors clamoring for the Fed to slash interest rates to zero next week — or sooner.
The Fed on Thursday announced massive repo operations and expanded securities purchases to ease “temporary disruptions” in the market. Stocks briefly rallied on the dramatic news but then resumed the slide, with the S&P 500 ending down a staggering 9.5% for the steepest losses since 1987.
Investors don’t believe Fed actions will do enough to shelter the economy from the virus without support from fiscal policies that remain under debate, despite…