If the TED spread is not the best indicator to look at to judge the health of the credit markets, what should we be looking at? Nick asked me this morning about S&P’s newly-launched Commercial Paper index, which might be a good place to start. The bad news is that it’s only updated to Friday, and you have to download an Excel spreadsheet even to get that. What’s more, it only gives prices and yields; it doesn’t give spreads. But for what it’s worth, yields came down on Friday, to 4.09% from 4.24%.
At least the CP index is available online somewhere. S&P’s leveraged loan index, by contrast, as featured in the Heard on the Street column today, is hidden behind a subscription firewall. Even Libor fixings are hard to come by: the BBA publishes them on its website only with a one-week delay, and the rest of us have to get them from the likes of Jansen or Alphaville. No wonder people turn to the stock market as an indicator of market conditions: the bond market is simply too opaque, to anybody without a Bloomberg.