COMMENT:

This week, I asked a flock of financiers at a New York conference to predict the direction of American interest rates. The results were clear-cut.

More than nine-tenths of those investors said they now presume that the US Federal Reserve's next move will be to cut rates rather than raising them.

Moreover, three-quarters of the group expected two or three rate cuts over the next year.

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Wall Street, in other words, thinks the interest rate cycle has turned — with a vengeance. That is startling, given that a mere month ago the futures market implied there was only a

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