Business: Trader's Cry: This Market Stinks

Wall Street's bond market traditionally has been the haven for little old ladies with poodles. Unlike the frantic gold or stock exchanges, the "fixed income market" was as relaxed as a Norman Rockwell painting. On a normal day, prices might change one-sixteenth of a point.

No more Since the Federal Reserve constricted money, bond trading has been more Jackson Pollock than Rockwell. Says Merrill Lynch Vice President Peter Goldsmith: 'This has been the worst period the bond markets have ever experienced.

Prices gyrate two or three points between lunch and cocktails. When interest rates rise bond prices fall—and often sharply. That is because...

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