Heads and Tails

News reached us last week of a two-headed snake found in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. The young timber rattlesnake(s?), nicknamed Double Dave, was discovered by two environmentalists, Dave Schneider and Dave Burkett.

Co-headedness, known as polycephaly, happens rarely in nature, and occasionally in finance. Double Dave’s brains operate independently. But two heads aren’t always better than one: They fight for food and can’t react quickly to predators. So these oddities don’t last long in the wild. “We’ll take care of it,” said one of the Daves.

In some cultures two-headed animals are seen as bad luck. Certainly the leveraged loan market is beginning to feel snake bit...

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Quote of the Week

“We’ve been down this path a few times before.” – JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist, TD Ameritrade, on trade talks.

Featuring Charts

Chart of the Week: Tale of Two Classes

September 11, 2019

As the Fed reversed course on interest rates last year, cash fled loan funds and piled into high-yield bond accounts.

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Chart of the Week: Driving Range

September 4, 2019

The average price of a most-liquid broadly syndicated leveraged loan has been within a band most of the summer.

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Chart of the Week: Larger Than Life

August 14, 2019

The number of leveraged loans for buyouts over $1 billion has grown steadily since the Great Recession.

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Chart of the Week: Channel Crossing

August 7, 2019

The illiquid non-correlated nature of smaller loans are attractive features amidst today’s market volatility.

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Chart of the Week: Stretching for Value

July 31, 2019

Over half of sponsored transactions are displaying greater than 10x purchase price multiples.

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Chart of the Week: Shopping List

July 22, 2019

To select a private debt manager, investors must perform due diligence on a variety of factors.

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Features

Leveraged Loan Insight & Analysis – 9/9/2019

Primary leveraged yields decline slightly in 3Q19 Primary yields have tightened slightly across rating levels so far in 3Q19. The main driver behind the decline in yields are falling Libor rates. At its current level of 2.13%, the 3-month Libor rate has dropped 19bp from 2.32% at the end of 2Q19. For single B issuers,

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The Pulse of Private Equity – 9/9/2019

Eight years in the black Between 2017 and 2018, LPs were on the receiving end of nearly $1 trillion in private equity returns, according to PitchBook’s new Global Fund Performance Report. Distributions came in at $480 billion last year, just off the record set in 2017 of $488.4 billion. Net cashflows topped $150 billion for

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PDI Picks – 9/9/2019

Clearing the runway for venture lending VC fund managers are raising more capital, likely giving venture lenders more dealmaking activity. Venture capital fundraising could be on track to match last year’s $50.22 billion, according to data from sister publication Private Equity International....

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Private Debt Intelligence – 9/9/2019

Private Debt Cash Flows Investors commonly cite that they look to private debt to offer three advantages: portfolio diversification, a reliable income stream and high risk-adjusted returns. This strikes a balance between the perceived regularity and predictability of real assets, and the alpha generation of private equity investments....

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The Pulse of Private Equity – 9/2/2019

Drawdowns are slower than they used to be Download PitchBook’s Report here. Record years for PE activity are often viewed as fast-moving frenzies, but capital call statistics show the industry is investing much more slowly than it has in the past. Drawdown rates have been relatively slow since 2012, even though 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and

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Middle Market Deal Terms at a Glance

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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.

State of the Capital Markets – Second Quarter 2019 Review and Third Quarter 2019 Outlook

July 18, 2019

Review of Current Market Conditions/ Analysis of Capital Markets Metrics/ Review of Credit Quality/ Outlook for Third Quarter 2019

Special Report: Why Valuations Matter

June 13, 2019

Beginning in April 2019 The Lead Left published a series of articles on valuations. This report consolidates those articles.