The Price of Everything (First of a Series)

Being off-kilter made it world-famous, but that condition is slowly being remedied.

Almost since it was built in 1173, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been sinking and slanting. But recent repair efforts by Italian engineers seem to be paying off. The 190-foot celebrated structure has now eased to the vertical by 1.5 inches.

Not that the “most monitored monument in the world” is in danger of perfect straightening anytime soon. “At the current rate,” says Professor Nunziante Squeglia, “[it] would take around 4000 years.”

That same sinking feeling seemed to hit capital markets these past two weeks, as volatility in public equities began to impact the perceived value of leveraged loans.

As our Chart of the Week highlights, the bid price of liquid names as measured by the S&P/LSTA Leverage Loan Index has slumped by nearly two points since early October. LPC also noted a similar drop. Its SMi index declined to 97.64, the lowest in over two years, and 127 bps below the year’s high of 98.91 on October 8.