Over the past few days, the commercial paper market – where companies look to secure short-term funding for their day-to-day operations – ground to a halt as major banks, concerned about their own cash reserves, opted for the safety of cash. The liquidity crunch is highly reminiscent of the 2008-2009 Great Recession and, in another echo of the events of over a decade ago, the Federal Reserve has since announced that it will begin making direct purchases of commercial paper. The move is just the latest in a string of attempts by US central bankers to shore up market confidence amid the cascading crisis of a global COVID-19 pandemic.