Headwinds for the Loan Syndication Market

Last week we took on the question of deal flow. How does the backdrop of M&A activity relate to the volume of reported sponsored debt financings? This week, we took to the road in search of answers. At the SuperReturn Private Credit conference in Chicago, we chaired the first day of panels. There we had […]

Stirred Markets, Not Shaken

In the warmer climes of leveraged loans, market observers contemplated other mega moves. One is economic data. Manufacturing fell to levels not seen since the Great Recession, while the services index dropped to its worst showing since August 2016. But there were signs of optimism. Friday’s labor data – 136,000 jobs created – showed the […]

LIBOR to SOFR: Pros and Cons

Anthony Mancinelli, the world’s oldest barber, passed away last week at the age of 108. Mr. Mancinelli started cutting hair in 1923, when Warren Harding was President, and only retired this past summer – 96 years later. When asked for his secret to longevity, the barber from Naples replied, “I eat thin spaghetti.” We haven’t […]

Take-offs and Landings: Middle Market Loans vs Economic Cycles

Last month, in an historic achievement, a French inventor named Franky Zapata flew his hoverboard, the Flyboard Air, across the English Channel. It was also the 110th anniversary of France’s first successful plane crossing. His success was not guaranteed. Ten days earlier, Monsieur Zapata crashed at the halfway point trying to refuel. Said the unharmed […]

And You Thought Cov-Lite Was a Problem

As our faithful readers know, the Lead Left is a keen observer of the heavens. So it’s with great interest that an observatory in Crimea detected an interstellar visitor – a comet called Borisov, that will swing it close the Earth just in time for Christmas. According to one astronomer, “It might behave the same […]

Heads and Tails in the Credit Markets

This week’s commentary – Heads and Tails – was inspired by the discovery of a two headed snake in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. We’re not sure if this is a good omen or a bad one. But there’s evidence of both in the credit markets today. Public markets remain buoyed by the prospect […]

Trends in Middle Market Leveraged Loans

We recently joined a group of direct lenders for a round of golf. In between brilliant shotmaking we chatted about current trends in middle market leveraged loans. For one thing, it seems many of us experienced a remarkably busy August, with the competitive landscape equally challenging. Terms and structures have become as issuer-friendly as at […]

Direct Lenders: The New Big Loan Arrangers

This week commentary, we take a look at large sponsored financings led by direct lenders. After Ares underwrote Thoma Bravo’s $1 billion Qlik deal in 2016, market observers thought this might lead to a wave of similar mega-buyouts led by the non-banks. Private credit providers have raised record funds in a variety of vehicles, allowing […]