Junk bonds market set for record year
The junk bond market is likely to beat all records this year, as tight bank lending conditions pushes thousands of companies around the world towards alternative sources of finance. Issuance of such "high-yield debt" – bonds that need to pay higher interest rates to compensate for having a lower credit rating, which implies a higher likelihood of default – exploded in August, reaching $24.6bn, according to data from Thomson Reuters. It was the largest August volume on record and the eighth largest monthly issuance since records began in 1980. Junk bonds became popular, and profitable, in the 1980s when they became the favoured tool of Wall Street bankers, notably Michael Milken of Drexel, to fund leveraged buyouts – an era later depicted in the Hollywood film Wall Street.