In Depth Analysis: CalculatedRisk Newsletter on Real Estate (Ad Free) Read it here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Credit Conditions

by Calculated Risk on 3/09/2009 11:05:00 AM

On CNBC this morning, Warren Buffett mentioned that credit conditions are tightening again. Here is a look at a few indicators:

Spread Corporate and Treasury Click on table for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows the spread between 30 year Moody's Aaa and Baa rated bonds and the 30 year treasury.

There has been some increase in the spread the last couple of weeks, but the spread is still way below the recent peak. The spreads are still very high, even for higher rated paper, but especially for lower rated paper.

The Moody's data is from the St. Louis Fed:

Moody's tries to include bonds with remaining maturities as close as possible to 30 years. Moody's drops bonds if the remaining life falls below 20 years, if the bond is susceptible to redemption, or if the rating changes.
A2P2 Spread There has been improvement in the A2P2 spread. This has declined to 0.90 - under 1.0 for the first time since September 2008. This is far below the record (for this cycle) of 5.86 after Thanksgiving, but still above the normal spread.

This is the spread between high and low quality 30 day nonfinancial commercial paper.

TED Spread Meanwhile the TED spread has increased a little, and is now at 1.09 - after being slightly below 1.0 for most of February. This is the difference between the interbank rate for three month loans and the three month Treasury. The peak was 4.63 on Oct 10th and a normal spread is around 0.5.

By these indicators the credit markets might be tightening a little, but nothing like the end of 2008.