Monday, January 12, 2009

The crisis is passing (5)

The TED spread (the difference between 3-mo. Libor and 3-mo. T-bill yields) continues to narrow, falling to 108 bps today. This is direct evidence of improving confidence in the health of the banking system, since it primarily reflects a market that is willing to accept a lower and lower yield increment in order to place money with banks rather than with the U.S. government. It is still abnormally high, to be sure, but this chart should make it clear that the improvement in recent months has been dramatic.

Restoring confidence in the banking system is an essential part of the recovery process, and we continue to make significant progress to that end.

1 comment:

Larry Peterson said...

TARP (and subsequent efforts by the Fed & Treasury) are working. While it definitely takes time to relieve a liquidity crisis, we are now seeing improvements in lending...and we are seeing some initial healing in the corporate bond markets.

The US economy has a long way to go. However, without the bold, new actions that were alertly taken this past fall, we would be in far worse shape as we enter the new year.