2020 Hindsight

Remember your summer internships in high school? Neither do we. There’s a vague recollection of delivering mail for a financial advertising agency on Wall Street. (It’s also where we first encountered the term “Lead Left,” but that’s another story).

Wolf Cukier’s stint at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center last summer could have been equally tedious. The Scarsdale, NY teenager began by scouring reams of satellite data, searching for anomalous star patterns.

But instead of mailing it in, he focused. On his third day he noted an odd image near a binary star system. It turned out to be a planet, now labeled TOI 1338 b. “It definitely colored the rest of the internship,” recalled the seventeen-year old of his discovery.

Observers are scanning for similar signs of life in the leveraged loan universe...

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“Credit can stay rich for a long time.” – Daniel Ivascyn, group investment officer, Pimco.

Featuring Charts

Chart of the Week: Back to Earth

January 15, 2020

2019 leveraged loan volume was off 35%; the second straight decline since the 2017 peak.

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Chart of the Week: Bond Buyers

January 8, 2020

Last year was a strong one for junk bond funds, as $19 billion entered mutual funds.

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Chart of the Week: Buyout Binge

December 16, 2019

Purchase price multiples for all leveraged buyouts have steadily risen since the Great Recession.

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Chart of the Week: Rally Caps

December 11, 2019

Secondary liquid loan prices are lifting as CLO managers use conserved cash to buy higher yielding (B2/B3) assets.

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Chart of the Week: Fund Facts

December 3, 2019

The number of private debt funds closed through June 30 was significantly off last year’s pace.

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Chart of the Week: Capital Hill

November 27, 2019

Overall fundraising for private debt strategies peaked in 2017, but is poised for another solid year in 2019.

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The Pulse of Private Equity – 1/13/2020

2020 prediction – SWFs and pensions will become more sophisticated Download PitchBook’s Report here. Sovereign wealth funds and public pensions financed private equity for years before they began co-investing in deals alongside their GPs. Though the trend is well publicized, the practice is still rare overall. Pension funds co-invest in about 2% of all US deals

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PDI Picks – 1/13/2020

Fees are still a sticking point for private equity LPs High fees have become a focus for critics of the industry, and fund managers will need to make their case to the voting public. Almost three-quarters of LPs find private equity fund fees difficult to justify to their colleagues, according to the 2020 edition of

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DL Deals: News & Analysis – 1/13/2020

DL Deals Monthly Scorecard: December buyouts swamped volume, lenders closed out 51 transactions Buyouts swamped direct lending activity in December, accounting for 61% of volume, a big leap from the two previous months that saw more action in M&A Add-On business, according to DL Deals. For the quarter, the increase in buyouts pushed LBOs above

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Private Debt Intelligence – 1/13/2020

Private Debt Fundraising Slows in 2019 More than 200 private debt funds closed in each year from 2015 to 2018. But 2019 fundraising has lagged, and at the end of the year just 152 funds have reached a final close. Collectively, those funds secured $107bn, the lowest annual total since 2015 and a 11% decrease

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Leveraged Loan Insight & Analysis – 1/6/2020

2019 US Syndicated loan volume down 20% compared to 2018 record high At US$2.1trn 2019 U.S. syndicated loan volume was down 20% compared to the record setting US$2.6trn raised the prior year amid a thinner pipeline of deals, higher market valuations and the long – if tangential – shadows cast by geopolitical and economic unease.

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Middle Market Deal Terms at a Glance

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State of the Capital Markets – Fourth Quarter 2019 Review and First Quarter 2020 Outlook

January 16, 2020

Review of Current Market Conditions/ Analysis of Capital Markets Metrics/ Review of Credit Quality/ Outlook for First Quarter 2020

Special Report: Private Debt – Search for Transparency

October 24, 2019

In June 2019 The Lead Left published a series of articles on private debt. This report consolidates those articles.

Special Report: Covenantive Easing

September 5, 2019

In May 2019 The Lead Left published a series of articles on covenant trends. This report consolidates those articles.