Cash Management

Commercial Paper Is Rising from the Ashes

Fed report for week ended Oct. 29 show first increase since Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection in September.
Stephen TaubOctober 30, 2008

The commercial paper market continues to return to life, with the Federal Reserve reporting that total outstanding paper rose by $100.5 billion to a seasonally adjusted $1.55 trillion in the week ended Oct. 29.

This is the first time outstanding paper increased since Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection in September.

The $1.55 trillion outstanding, however, is still down from the total of $1.6 trillion just four weeks ago.

The market peaked at $2.2 trillion in the summer of 2007, the Associated Press pointed out.

Financial paper accounted for a majority of the increase in the past week, surging by $69.4 billion, or 12.4 percent, to $628.8 billion.

“The introduction of the commercial paper program is an enormous jolt of not just liquidity but stimulus to the economy,” Tom Sowanick, chief investment officer at Clearbrook Financial LLC, told Bloomberg News.