Guest Post: How Commercial Paper Prices In Economic Recession

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by MacroStory.com

How Commercial Paper Prices In Economic Recession

In what is becoming a multi part series on how various products price in recession tonight it is time to check out the commercial paper markets. Below are two charts (1) showing the last two recessions and how commercial paper rates performed and (2) commercial paper rates since Q2 2009. Both charts utilize non financial AA rated 30 and 90 day terms.  The results were similar for financial paper as well.

Commercial paper seems to be an excellent market timer of economic recession. Notice the last two periods where rates began falling precipitously and the timing of economic contraction. 

It is also interesting to note prior to the 2008 recession rates began moving higher as the economy expanded.  Since the 08 recession theoretically ended no such move up in rates has occurred.  Whether that is the reality that no real expansion has occurred and or simply an abundance of liquidity in the market is unclear.

To capture changes in commercial paper rates since Q2 2009 a zoomed in chart is presented below.  Again notice the fall off in rates albeit from lower levels and the corresponding move lower in GDP.

A similar pattern has developed where rates on 90 day paper have fallen from 34 to 14 basis points and GDP appears to be trending lower.  What's "different this time" is the starting point of GDP versus the June 2009 drop off in rates was about 3% higher in real GDP terms. 

Should GDP respond to changes in rates as it did in late 2009 then economic contraction is highly probable in 2011.