In the years after the 2008 credit seizure, traders spent their days worrying about the next crisis.

They were filled with dread even as central bankers pumped trillions of dollars into markets in the form of huge asset purchases and implausibly low interest rates. They worried about bond-market liquidity, or a lack thereof. They wondered whether policy makers had the tools to cushion the next crash.

Now, global markets are undergoing possibly the biggest stress test since the financial crisis. And they're not doing too well.

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