The Corner

Bleg: Financial Data

We’ve heard a lot in recent weeks about the “freezing” of the credit market.  Googling around on this earlier today, I was able to find plenty of data about short-term interest rates–the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, serves as the benchmark.  What I wasn’t able to find was data showing credit market volume.

Why did I care?  Because I’m trying to figure out just how “frozen” the credit market has actually become.

During the last year, for example, the price of gas at the pump rose dramatically.  Did the market for gas “freeze?”  Of course not.  People went right on purchasing gas, at only slightly reduced volumes.  They had to spend less money elsewhere in order to do so, of course–that is, the higher prices produced a reallocation of resources–but the market for gas continued to function smoothly.

With regard to the credit market, we hear over and over again about interest rates–that is, about the price of credit.  What we don’t get is hard data about the way markets are actually responding to those prices.  (Yours truly has had a hard time finding the data, anyway.)

Is there a reader of this happy Corner who could help me?  I’d be grateful, hugely grateful, for data that indicates volumes in the credit markets, beginning with overnight paper and running out to, say, 90 days.

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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