Liquidity Squeeze

DEFINITION of 'Liquidity Squeeze'

When concern about the short-term availability of money causes reluctance among financial institutions to lend out money from their reserves. This hold on reserves causes the interbank market rate to rise, making it more expensive for banks to borrow from each other. Ultimately, this causes credit standards to tighten, making it more difficult and expensive for consumers to receive loans.

BREAKING DOWN 'Liquidity Squeeze'

In order to limit the impact of liquidity squeezes, central banks will often increase liquidity by injecting more money into the economy through lower interest rates. Doing so gives financial institutions a less expensive alternative to borrowing. This process also serves to alleviate the fear of insufficient liquidity in the short run and make bank loans more accessible to consumers and businesses.