Competition in leveraged loans, keen as it is, pales in comparison to the 2021 Mrs. Sri Lanka pageant. Reigning Mrs. World champion, Caroline Jurie yanked the tiara off newly-crowned winner Pushpika DeSilva, charging Mrs. DeSilva was not married. Mrs. DeSilva fled the stage in tears.

Order was eventually restored, Mrs. DeSilva reclaimed her crown, and Mrs. Jurie resigned hers. We look forward to the 2021 Mrs. World pageant to be held later this year…in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile in the less dramatic world of middle market CLOs, managers made it successfully through the pandemic, and are positioned for the rebound.

For some perspective, MM CLOs represent about 14% of the total CLO market, both in terms of issuance and outstandings...

“What we’re seeing now is really an economy that seems to be at an inflection point.” – Jerome Powell, chairman, Federal Reserve.

Featuring Charts

Chart of the Week: Midcaps on Upswing

April 15, 2021

While 2020 middle market CLO activity slid from the previous year, 1Q 2021 issuance has revived.

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Chart of the Week: Alpha Bets

April 7, 2021

CLO asset and liability spreads move in concert, down now below pre-Covid levels.

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Chart of the Week: Triple A Service

March 31, 2021

CLO liability spreads for the most creditworthy tranches have fallen below pre-Covid levels.

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Chart of the Week: Vehicles For Sale

March 24, 2021

Formation of new collateralized loan obligations slowed last year, but picked up in 2021.

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Chart of the Week: Breakeven Analysis

March 17, 2021

The difference between the five-year Treasury and five-year TIPS shows inflation expectations higher than the Fed’s 2% target.

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Chart of the Week: Price Chopper

March 10, 2021

Since the Volcker Shock of 1980 consumer prices have fallen to a range of 2-3%.

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The Pulse of Private Equity – 4/12/2021

A strong start to the year Download PitchBook’s Report here. Fourth quarter deal momentum spilled into 2021, resulting in record Q1 numbers for the US PE market. PitchBook’s latest US PE Breakdown Report calculates a $203 billion quarter on 1,763 deals across the country. That’s only the fourth time that a quarter has breached the $200

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PDI Picks – 4/12/2021

The European deal market’s fast rebound It was a challenging year for new transactions in the region which nonetheless went out with a bang. It was truly a remarkable year for private debt deals in Europe, as illustrated by a new survey which shows the rapid progression from slump to boom. The latest figures from

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Leveraged Loan Insight & Analysis – 4/5/2021

1Q21 leveraged issuance marks four year high at US$474bn; 1Q21 HY bond volume sets new record Building on the early signs of market recovery observed in 4Q20, issuers of leveraged debt took advantage of accommodative conditions to raise nearly US$474bn in loan and high yield bond volume in 1Q21 , the second highest quarterly total

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Private Debt Intelligence – 4/5/2021

Private Debt: Risk/Return by Fund Type Across private debt strategies, returns and return dispersion data varies greatly. Direct lending funds, which are characterized by more senior secured debt, have been a steady investment, with a median net IRR of 8.3% for vintages 2008-2017 and a standard deviation of only 5.0%....

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The Pulse of Private Equity – 4/5/2021

Buy-and-build correlates to more secondary buyouts PitchBook is publishing a new analyst note next week that does a deep dive on add-ons. One of the more striking findings is a correlation between additive platforms and how they eventually exit. The more add-ons a portfolio company undergoes, the more likely it will be acquired by another

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Special Report: SPACs – A Primer

March 31, 2021

Beginning in November 2020 The Lead Left published a series of articles on special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). This report consolidates those articles.

Special Report: Private Credit – Better than Ever

January 28, 2021

Beginning in August 2020 The Lead Left published a series of articles on the state of private credit in a COVID environment. This report consolidates those articles.

State of the Capital Markets – Fourth Quarter 2020 Review and First Quarter 2021 Outlook

January 14, 2021

Review of Current Market Conditions/ Analysis of Capital Markets Metrics/ Review of Credit Quality/ Outlook for First Quarter 2021