The US Federal Reserve is watching and waiting to see if the rebound in the markets, following its interest rate cut, will hold out. With the rate virtually at zero there is not much further financial chiefs can go to try to drag the country out of recession. It has gone from three per cent in January to 0.25% now. It really is in uncharted territory. The Fed has also pumped massive amounts of money into the credit markets, just as Japan did earlier this decade when its economy hit the skids. What would make a big difference is if shoppers began to open their wallets in the run-up to Christmas. But with half a million jobs lost in the US last month alone, that seems very unlikely.