Last Wednesday, the Bank of England held the first of four auctions aimed at providing funds at three-month maturity. The auction was for GBP10 billion ($20.15 billion). Despite lingering questions about the bank's motivation, phone lines for bidders opened at 11 a.m. GMT sharp and closed promptly at 11:30.

Zero bidders came to the auction, the bank reported. However, it wasn't the range of product on offer that led to such an inauspicious start to the bank's emergency market relief; rather, it was the current unwillingness of lending institutions to be linked to the BoE.

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