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As money became a commodity, the money market became a component of the financial markets for assets involved in short-term borrowing, lending, buying and selling with original maturities of one year or less. Trading in the money markets is done over the counter and is wholesale. Various instruments exist, such as Treasury bills, commercial paper, bankers' acceptances, deposits, certificates of deposit, bills of exchange, repurchase agreements, federal funds, and short-lived mortgage-, and asset-backed securities. It provides liquidity funding for the global financial system. Money markets and capital markets are parts of financial markets. The instruments bear differing maturities, currencies, credit risks, and structure. Therefore they may be used to distribute the exposure.
The money market consists of financial institutions and dealers in money or credit who wish to either borrow or lend. Participants borrow and lend for short periods of time, typically up to thirteen months. Money market trades in short-term financial instruments commonly called "paper." This contrasts with the capital market for longer-term funding, which is supplied by bonds and equity.
The core of the money market consists of interbank lending—banks borrowing and lending to each other using commercial paper, repurchase agreements and similar instruments. These instruments are often benchmarked to (i.e. priced by reference to) the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for the appropriate term and currency.
Finance companies typically fund themselves by issuing large amounts of asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) which is secured by the pledge of eligible assets into an ABCP conduit. Examples of eligible assets include auto loans, credit card receivables, residential/commercial mortgage loans, mortgage-backed securities and similar financial assets. Certain large corporations with strong credit ratings, such as General Electric, issue commercial paper on their own credit. Other large corporations arrange for banks to issue commercial paper on their behalf via commercial paper lines.
In the United States, federal, state and local governments all issue paper to meet funding needs. States and local governments issue municipal paper, while the US Treasury issues Treasury bills to fund the US public debt:
There are two types of instruments in the fixed income market that pay the interest at maturity, instead of paying it as coupons. Discount instruments, like repurchase agreements, are issued at a discount of the face value, and their maturity value is the face value. Accrual instruments are issued at the face value and mature at the face value plus interest.
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