Interbank rates plummet as year-end passes

Pressure on the banking industry eased on Wednesday with spreads between money market and central banks' benchmark interest rates narrowing as the end-of-year liquidity panic passed. The falls indicate that the central banks' efforts to alleviate some of the money market tension have helped the industry.

London interbank offered rates (Libor), a measure of banks' borrowing costs, plunged, with the drop in one-month sterling borrowing costs, from 5.95% on Monday to 5.75%, the steepest in just o