Beach Blanket Bingo

How many readers remember this classic Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello beach party vehicle from 1965? We think any movie with Buster Keaton, Don Rickles, and Linda Evans (as Candy Kane) in the same cast deserves special mention in a summertime column devoted to odd pairings.

We also couldn’t help wondering what an updated version of that romp would be like, all about the frolicking fun that passes for the capital markets in August 2014.

Opening scene: interest rate waves catch unwary investors sans swim suits. Headlines show the ten-year Treasury sinking to a year-plus low of 2.35%, throwing sand in the faces of high-yield investors who for months predicted moves in the opposite direction.

Then, to the theme from Jaws, high-yield money – a whopping $7 billion! – races from the water in the largest such exodus in history. Seems default risk linked to overseas turmoil trumps hopes that the strengthening US economy would lift all issuers’ boats.