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Agencies and supranationals

The World Bank, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were the saviours of capital markets in the wake of September 11. As the corporates hit trouble, supranationals and agencies remained much in demand.


PART OF THE story of the recovery of the US economy from the shock of September 11 involves agencies and supranationals. Not least, they were the first to the bond market after the attacks - Freddie Mac being first with a two-year auction on September 15.

Louise Herrle, Freddie Mac treasurer, says: "We felt it was important to go ahead, to demonstrate we were working with the dealers to keep the market open. It was an internet auction, so there were also all the issues of whose technology was still up. What was incredible was that all the dealers participated, even the ones in contingency sites."

The deal sent out an important signal - the bond markets and the investment banking community were open for business. Herrle says: "I would say agencies and supranationals played an important role. It was a time of personal anguish. It was very difficult but it was important that people focused on getting the job done."

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