Amid Global Credit Seizure (Update4)
By Gavin Finch and Kim-Mai Cutler
Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of borrowing in dollars overnight more than doubled to the highest since 2001 as the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and credit downgrades of American International Group Inc. led banks to hoard cash.
The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, that financial institutions charge each other to borrow soared 3.33 percentage points to 6.44 percent today, its biggest jump in at least seven years, according to the British Bankers' Association. The rate was as low as 2.07 percent in June.
Banks are driving up short-term lending rates on concern that AIG, the biggest U.S. insurer, will follow Lehman into bankruptcy and leave financial institutions with losses on $441 billion of credit derivatives. Central banks around the world pumped more than $210 billion into the financial system as they sought to alleviate the credit-market seizure.