#Yield Signs

Deep inside a cave some 200 miles east of Cape Town, South Africa, archeologists uncovered ancient markings that represent the earliest evidence of human drawing.

The hashtag precurser – six parallel lines criss-crossed by three diagonals – was etched by a prehistoric artist over 73,000 years ago with a red ochre crayon on a small stone the size of two thumbnails. “I think it’s definitely a symbol and there’s a message there,” said Dr. Christopher Hensilwood, the lead researcher, of the discovery.

Observers of the loan market are also experts at digging for meaning among otherwise inscrutable signs. Of late relative credit spreads are getting focused attention.

As we enter the last weeks of the quarter, how primary issuance is priced gives investors a clue how markets are viewing relative risk. When should the caution light go on? As one top credit manager asked us....


Quote of the Week

“If anything, multiple rate increases will produce a flatter yield curve.” Thomas di Galoma, head of Treasury trading, Seaport Global Holdings.

Chart of the Week: Tranche Launch

New issue first and second lien spreads are on the rise, though the differential is shrinking.

Lead Left Spotlight

Kevin Alexander & Michael Moravec

Deputy CEO / Head of Investment Banking


"We are opportunistic. We’re looking for really strong athletes with an entrepreneurial spirit."

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Jessica Reiss & Kerry Kantin

Head of Leveraged Loan Research / Managing Director Covering Leveraged Loans

Covenant Review / LevFin Insights

"Portability isn’t common, but we’ve seen an uptick."

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Thomas A. Stewart

Executive Director

National Center for the Middle Market

"Middle market companies are critical elements of industry clusters across the country."

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Peter Magas

Managing Director

Beecken Petty O'Keefe & Company

"Demographics suggest continued demand for healthcare services and the provider base cannot keep pace."

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Mark Habner

Co-Founder & CEO

BeckWay Group

"Individuals within a company truly make the difference in performance and excellence, not the company itself."

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The Pulse of Private Equity – 9/17/2018

Are the good times over? Download PitchBook’s Report here. Private equity’s calling card, from its early days in the 80s through the mid-2000s, has been its ability to beat the market. The asset class pretty handily beat stocks in bull and bear markets alike. Until 2006, LPs in PE funds had at least a 50/50 shot

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Leveraged Loan Insight & Analysis – 9/17/2018

US institutional market flex activity has favored issuers so far this month September deals in the institutional loan market have so far been well received by investors. The Flex Factor has tracked 6 flexed deals so far this month with 5 of them being in favor of issuers. This has allowed for an issuer friendly

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PDI Picks – 9/17/2018

More debt funds in market, more questions for investors A large number of vehicles are seeking capital, and fundraising has been strong – but that isn’t a guarantee the boom times will continue. The number of private credit funds in market has been on a steady upward trend, according to PDI data, reflecting the enduring

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Private Debt Intelligence – 9/17/2018

Private Debt Goes Global As the alternatives assets industry continues to grow, Preqin is launching an initiative examining the future of alternatives. In conjunction with key industry participants, Preqin takes a five-year look into the future to see where the private debt market will be, what changes fund managers are planning for and how investors

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Markit Recap – 9/10/2018

  It’s the 10th anniversary of Lehman’s collapse and we are being inundated with retrospectives and predictions of what will cause the next crisis. Many are pointing towards emerging markets as a likely catalyst, a logical conjecture given the tightening in monetary policy that is underway in the US....

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State of the Capital Markets – Second Quarter 2018 Review and Third Quarter 2018 Outlook

Review of Current Market Conditions/ Analysis of Capital Markets Metrics/ Review of Credit Quality/ Outlook for Third Quarter 2018

State of the Capital Markets – First Quarter 2018 Review and Second Quarter 2018 Outlook

Review of Current Market Conditions/ Analysis of Capital Markets Metrics/ Review of Credit Quality/ Outlook for Second Quarter 2018

Special Report: Spot-lite on Cov-lite

Beginning in October 2017 The Lead Left published a series of articles on covenant-lite. This report consolidates those articles.