Investors had no place to hide as stock and bond markets tanked simultaneously for the first time since the 1980s, when markets offered no hedges against collapsing values. In 2008, bond prices rose sharply as stock markets crashed. Now bonds offer no refuge against collapsing stock prices. The difference is that total US public debt outstanding has risen from about $9 trillion at the beginning of 2008 to $23.5 trillion today. 

With equities down nearly 6% in Europe and US markets poised to open with similar losses, European bond yields soared and US bond yields rose, as governments prepared trillions of dollars of new debt financing to support economic stimulus and market bailout programs. Between March 9 and this morning, so-called real yields, that is, the yield on inflation-protected US government securities, had risen from a trough of negative 1% to positive 0.4%, the fastest yield spike in market history.

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