Commentary

High Times (Second of a Series)

We continue our special series on high-yield bonds with a look at more deals in the market. Our tour guide on this trip, Matthew Fuller of LevFin Insights, identified several transactions as signs of market recovery. Northwest Fiber (Caa1/CCC), with a new issuer name, Ziply Fiber, came out with a loan/bond buyout of Frontier Communication

High Times (First of a Series)

One of our faithful readers emailed the other day: “Hey, I noticed it’s been a while since you wrote about the high-yield market. Would love to get your insights on what’s going on there. Seems like a lot of activity recently. Trying to figure it out. Thanks.” Help is on the way. For assistance, we

Labor Pains

The Bank of England has projected the COVID-19 pandemic will cause GDP for the United Kingdom to decline 14% this year. That’s the worst economic performance in more than three centuries. In 1706 (when the Bank of England was twelve years old) Great Britain was a very different place. With the Industrial Revolution fifty years in

The Great Stay-In (Last of a Series)

As we wrap up our multi-part series on the COVID-19 crisis, we turn our attention to the path ahead, as unclear as that is. Or as one economist put it succinctly: “Anyone who thinks we’re going to keep moving up in a straight line is living in La-La Land.” The good news is that the

The Great Stay-In (Eighth of a Series)

“The GFC was a crisis that began on Wall Street and spread to Main Street. COVID-19 is a crisis that began on Main Street and spread to Wall Street.” That’s how the capital markets head of a leading private credit firm contrasted the origins of the two worst downturns since the Great Depression. And with

The Great Stay-In (Seventh of a Series)

On March 12 we began this special series on COVID-19 with a sense that America would soon be forced out of schools, offices, and all group activity. Little did we know six weeks later 97% (according to one study) of the US population is either at home or sheltering in place. This state of affairs

The Great Stay-In (Sixth of a Series)

This week we wrap up our conversation with Brian Nick, Nuveen’s chief investment strategist: The Lead Left: Brian, how do you compare this cycle with the last one? Brian Nick: The last cycle ended because of an excess of leverage and risk-taking by individual households and within the financial system as a whole. The housing

The Great Stay-In (Fifth of a Series)

“As goes COVID-19, so goes the nation.” Paraphrasing the famous 1950’s dictum on General Motors’ relationship to the welfare of America highlights how the coronavirus has hijacked all aspects of the economy. There’s consensus that once the disease runs its course, commercial activity will come back. It’s also agreed that between now and then GDP

The Great Stay-In (Fourth of a Series)

“We did not underwrite for this.” So said the managing partner of a top-tier middle market private equity firm. In a conversation last week, he spoke of the challenges and uncertainties surrounding the impact to businesses of COVID-19. “We always model downside scenarios for any investment we consider,” he said. “But the zero revenue case

The Great Stay-In (Third of a Series)

“The three main U.S. stock indices closed at record highs as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak’s economic impact seemed to fade.” – Barron’s, February 12, 2020. Perhaps not the “Dewey Beats Truman” of media misreads, but this quote reflected widely shared sentiments among market participants. “Can anything stop this rally?” the columnist went on to