Friday, September 26, 2008

The TED spread rises

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The TED spread - the difference between Libor, what banks pay to borrow money for three months, and the three month Treasury borrowing rates - rose to 0.31%, the widest margin for that measure since 1982. A wide spread is considered to show high risk of loan defaults, sending investors to safer havens. The Ted spread was at 0.111% just a month ago. With loads of troubled assets on their balance sheets, banks are hesitant to take on more loans if the risk of default is high. Furthermore, when banks need to write down those assets, they have less cash on hand to issue loans. That stops the financial system's gears from turning, hurting customers who need a loan to finance a home, a car or tuition. "The interbank lending markets are clogged up, because there is a freeze-up in the pipes that normally carry funding from central banks to banks to customers," Van Order explained. How WaMu makes it worse: The announcement that JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) acquired the banking assets of Washington Mutual (WM, Fortune 500) late Thursday after the beleaguered thrift was seized by federal regulators sent yet another shock to already skittish lenders. "JPMorgan is going to have to take a writedown and ultimately raise capital," Van Order said. "The bank's lines of credit are being drawn on, and they can't hit the commercial paper market, so the acquisition puts another strain on lending." As JPMorgan tries to finance its purchase, if there are no lenders available, they will have to turn to a backup line of credit, further seizing up the flow from bank to bank to customers. The bailout's impact: With the credit markets all but stopped, the Bush administration hopes that the removal of risky assets from the financial institutions would restore the flow of credit. But as partisan politics put the enactment of a bill in doubt, banks worried that the wrench in the gears may not be removed anytime soon. "If banks don't have the market to sell off illiquid assets, we're just going to be stuck in the same situation a year from now," Van Order said. "There's just no market for whole classes of asset- backed securities, and the government is the only one that is large enough to create a market." With the only potential buyer debating whether or not to make the deal, financial institutions continued to invest in less risky assets like government bonds. Treasurys: The unprecedented events of the past two weeks have had investors moving into and out of Treasurys quickly. U.S. government bonds are considered one of the safest places to keep assets, and so as anxiety in the marketplace increases, so does demand for Treasurys. "The holdup of the rescue plan and of course the failure of WaMu is once again flocking investors toward safety," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners. The benchmark 10-year note rose 20/32 to 101-24/32 and its yield fell to 3.79% from 3.84% late Thursday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions. The 30-year bond jumped 1-2/32 to 102-17/32 and its yield dipped to 4.35% from 4.39%. The 2-year note rose 9/32 to 99-30/32, while its yield fell to 2.03% from 2.16%. The yield on the 3-month bill fell to 0.70% from 0.74% as prices ticked higher. Yields on 3-month Treasurys have remained at very low levels as demand for the notes has increased amid the uncertainty in the financial markets. The 3-month note is a popular asset for money markets looking for stability because it offers a safe place to park cash on a short-term basis. On Thursday, bond prices were mixed as key lawmakers announced they had reached an agreement for the proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial system, which has been battered by the collapse of the housing market. Investors started tip-toeing out of the safe haven of government bonds; stocks rallied, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 197 points. But the bank failure and the breakdown in the bailout agreement sent investors running right back to the safe haven of Treasurys. Looking for a lifeline: After days of negotiations in Congress, lawmakers said Thursday they were taking a revised bailout proposal to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. But a meeting at the White House on Thursday between President Bush, Congressional leaders and the presidential candidates failed to provide a conclusion, sending fresh anxiety to Wall Street that maybe the much-needed relief was not imminent. "The financial markets are burning and the politicians are playing politics," said Cardillo. As the uncertainty mounts as to what form a bailout would eventually take, investors returned to the perceived safety of government bonds, sending the prices of Treasurys higher. As the situation in the financial sector continues to deteriorate, "people are trying to protect their assets and they are running into Treasurys," said Cardillo. In order to pay for a costly rescue plan, the government would need to sell a lot more debt. On Thursday, the government auctioned $24 billion worth of 5-year notes. The Treasury received bids totaling nearly $46 billion, with a median yield of 3%.

Ted Spread - The Resourceful Bear Blog
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Online Trading Academy Lessons from the Pros 04/01/2008: Average Joe ...
Average Joe, the Ted Spread, and Pistachio Ice Cream. Greetings from Acapulco! ... LIBOR is the London Interbank Offered Rate, and it rises as banks become reluctant to ...
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Ted spread narrows to lowest since early August 2007 | Markets | Bonds ...
NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) - The so-called Ted spread, a key gauge of money market strains ... Consumer spending flags, but confidence rises | Video
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... Naturally occurring anthrax on Ted Turner ... Ted Turner’s bison death toll from anthrax rises ... Anthrax can spread from animals to humans, but ...
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THE HEDGE OF ALL HEDGES
Among all this profusion, the TED Spread has emerged as the prime global ... other falls. Generally, as the market level of interest rates rises, the spread ...
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So when the TED spread rises, the market fears banks are about to start failing. Last week the TED spread hit its highest mark since the stock market crash of October 1987.
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Source: Salon
NewsDateTime: 3 hours ago

Why the threat of systemic meltdown is real
So when the TED spread rises, the market fears banks are about to start failing. Last week the TED spread hit its highest mark since the stock market crash of October, 1987.
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Source: Salon
NewsDateTime: 9/24/2008

Libor Rises Most Since 1999 as Banks Shun Money-Market Lending
Libor Rises Most Since 1999 as Banks Shun Money-Market Lending By Gavin Finch and David Yong ... The difference between what banks and the Treasury pay to borrow money for three months, the so-called TED spread , narrowed 1 ...
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Source: Bloomberg
NewsDateTime: 20 hours ago

Bond Risk Rises on U.S. Bailout Delay Concerns, Asian Bank Run
Bond Risk Rises on U.S. Bailout Delay Concerns, Asian Bank Run By Patricia Kuo ... The rates charged for short-term loans relative to Treasury bill rates, known as the TED spread , rose to 3.02 percent, higher ...
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Source: Bloomberg
NewsDateTime: 9/25/2008

Credit markets cheer bailout deal, but faintly
Perhaps the most telling when it comes to gauging banks' willingness to lend is the "TED spread," or the difference between the ... The fixed returns from bonds with long durations lose value over time if inflation rises.
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Source: Houston Chronicle
NewsDateTime: 18 hours ago


In order to pay for a costly rescue plan, the government would need to sell a lot more debt. On Thursday, the government auctioned $24 billion worth of 5-year notes. The Treasury received bids totaling nearly $46 billion, with a median yield of 3%. To top of page


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Published on: 9/26/2008 11:02:31 AM


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