Bailout Impact: Libor Improving

Key indicator of bank lending is moving in the right direction.

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Although we've seen some counterproductive fallout from the $700 billion financial bailout, the efforts of governments around the world to unlock credit markets have produced some encouraging results as well.

Below is a table from, which shows that Libor rates—a key measure of interbank lending—have begun easing. The movement demonstrates that banks are growing less terrified—at least for now—of lending to one another. This is a key step in the recuperation of the credit markets.

From, via Paul Krugman's blog:

  10/20 10/17 Change
OVERNIGHT 1.51250 1.66875 -.15625
1 WEEK 2.71875 3.15625 -.43750
2 WEEKS  3.08125 3.49375 -.41250
1 MONTH 3.75125 4.18125 -.43000
2 MONTH 3.93375 4.30625 -.37250
3 MONTH 4.05875 4.41875 -.36000
4 MONTH 3.99250 4.29500 -.30250
5 MONTH 3.90125 4.20375 -.30250
6 MONTH 3.82875 4.13000 -.30125
9 MONTH 3.76875 4.02250 -.25375
12 MONTH 3.71250 3.97250 -.26000

  While the rates are still very high, the direction of their movement is encouraging.

Bloomberg has more:

Money-market rates fell, extending last week's declines, as governments bailed out banks and policy makers intensified efforts to combat the freeze in lending with cash injections.

The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, that banks charge each other for three-month loans in dollars slid 36 basis points to 4.06 percent today, the biggest drop in nine months, according to the British Bankers' Association. The overnight-dollar rate declined 16 basis points to 1.51 percent, the lowest level in more than four years.


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