Now its several months later, and while the banks may have used the money to shore up their balance sheets instead of lending it to companies that need it, the credit markets have eased dramatically -- at least as measured by the TED Spread - the difference between the yeild on 3-month treasury bills and the yield on the LIBOR.
Back in October, the spread topped out at more than 400 basis points, far above any previous highs. But recently it's dropped back to a 2008-typical 130 basis points. As this video explains, that's good news, right?
Well, not so fast.
As you may have noticed, the economy still sucks. Apparently, the TED Spread hasn't narrowed in the right way. While the LIBOR has fallen, Treasury yields have hardly budged -- indicating that people are still very interested in safe havens, not riskier but higher-yield investments. We're only halfway there.
The rANT is ticked off. After spending all that time and energy learning new financial arcania, it turns out you can't trust the TED Spread, either.
Want a new stat to watch? Try the unemployment figures.