Commentary

Are We Back to 2007? (First of a series)

What is the scariest sentence in the English language? If you’re a parent dropping off your four-year old at summer camp (as we did last Friday), a good candidate is, “Daddy, today we’re learning archery!” For bankers monitoring leveraged markets these days, it seems like the equivalent phrase of fear is, “We are back to

Why CLOs Matter (Last of a Series)

They’re big, they’re bad, and now that they’re back, the end of the world is upon us. No, we’re not referring to the latest Transformers instalment: Age of Extinction.Though we’re compelled to point out that seems an equally appropriate headline for the obituary so many market observers seem eager to write about CLOs’ demise-by-Dodd-Frank. But just as

Why CLO’s Matter (Part Three)

Until recently, institutional investors have always had a love-hate relationship with the middle market – minus the love. Compared to reassuringly large, liquid credits, companies with less than $50 million in Ebitda tend to be private, their debt unrated, their businesses niche-oriented, their access to public markets limited, and their management teams entrepreneurially lean. Further,

Why CLO’s Matter (Part Two)

After publication last week, we were concerned we had been a bit rough on our bank friends in dismissing the ability of regulated institutions to adapt as readily as CLO’s when loans became troubled. An informal survey of those friends revealed that, if anything, we had been too generous. “You were spot on with your

Why CLO’s Matter (Part One)

In the classic comedic bit from the early 1960’s, Mel Brooks, as a two thousand year old man, is asked what he thought mankind’s greatest invention was. “Saran Wrap,” he answers promptly. Not the discovery of space? “That was good,” he admits. We’re not sure what the venerable Mr. Brooks would say today if posed

Numbers, Again

“What did you learn in math class today, honey?” Picking our daughter up from her second day of an after-school program, we hoped to hear progress in our mission for her to reach coding stardom and launch the next Uber. Our four-year old made a long face, “Numbers, again,” she replied sadly. We sympathize. Hard

On Demand

We don’t know anyone who’s seen the latest Godzilla movie, yet it’s grossed more than $375 million worldwide. On the other hand, the clearly-destined-to-be-a-cult-classic Vampire Academy has barely scraped in $15 million. Life, we suppose, is unfair. While not as profound on the scale of life’s mysteries, we have also cogitated on the ongoing spectacle

Last of the Dinosaurs

It was the finale of the longest, slow-motion credit tumble ever witnessed, and certainly the most anticipated spectator event since the long-awaited Family Guy movie. On April 29, Energy Future Holdings filed for bankruptcy creating the largest default – $19.5 billion – in the history of leveraged loans. Creditors have been jostling for position for many months, a dance

Place Your Bets

A few days before last month’s running of the 140th Kentucky Derby, the WSJ published a piece detailing six reasons why California Chrome wouldn’t win. Of course, the California-bred colt, a 5-2 favorite, dominated the field and took home the $1.2 million first-prize. No word on whether the sports editor has been reassigned. Against all odds, the CLO

Now Where Were We?

When we last reported on market conditions two years ago the Dow had closed at 12,929. Today it stands at 16,408 – a 27% improvement. Greek bonds back in April 2012 easily yielded mid-teens returns. Last week a five-year Greek bond auction was seven times oversubscribed and priced at 5%. After the first sixteen games