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 banks borrowing and lending to each other, using commercial paper, repurchase agreements and similar instruments. These instruments are often benchmarked (i.e. priced over and above) to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).
Finance companies, such as GMAC, 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.