The Great Stay-In (Second of a Series)

This week we’ve been doing bedchecks on our lender friends in the credit markets. We caught up with one long-time practitioner, hanging out in the home office with family (as he put it) in “bathrobes and bunny slippers.” But clearly plugged in.

“The capital markets went from price perfection to price combustion,” he told us. “Last month deals were sailing through. Today it’s a whole new ballgame. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, and nothing going on in the market.”

A leading CLO manager had a similar assessment. “There’s a massive bid/ask spread with liquid names, but trading is going on. It’s not a lock-down yet. That’s been important for managers cleaning up positions in travel and airlines.”

What impact, we wondered, does the cratering of secondary prices (Chart of the Week) have on primary issuance? The S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index has tumbled in the last few days to a low 80’s context, down from 95 earlier in the month.