Search and Recovery (Second of a series)

News reached us from Harvard’s Astrophysics Center of an interstellar object of unknown origin spotted passing through our solar system. Named Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout”), the cigar-shaped “stadium-size” UFO demonstrated “excess acceleration” on its trek past the Sun and back out into space.

Given the unusual trajectory, scientists theorized it could be “a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization.” Cautioned one researcher, “It’s impossible to guess the purpose behind Oumuamua without more data.” Just so.

After checking our calendars didn’t read April 1, we reflected on how similar the search for extraterrestrial life is to terrestrial analysts scrutinizing data on loan recoveries.

As we covered in our first instalment of this special series, there’s a macro drag on the ability of investors to recover par on leverage loans. Leverage as a multiple of debt-to-ebitda is on the rise. And structural features (e.g. cov-lite) are weakening.