Can Corporate Bonds Replace Treasuries?

A few companies might have the issuing clout to match T-bills

When Ford Motor Co. floated an $8.6 billion bond package on July 9, the auto maker made headlines everywhere. The biggest private issue ever, it eclipsed the previous record set by AT&T, which sold $8 billion in bonds on Mar. 23. In the past, such huge issues were attempted only by governments--which is precisely the point. The No. 2 carmaker decided to lump together the borrowing that it would have done throughout the year into a jumbo issue that would provide the liquidity normally associated with the stuff that Uncle Sam puts out. Indeed, says David Moore, senior North American funding analyst at Ford Motor Credit Co.: "We're becoming a more competitive alternative to Treasuries."

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