No. of Recommendations: 9
... following the pre-2008 high yield (sub prime) bubble is ...


<drum roll>


... a high-yield (corporate) bubble - so says the Telegraph:


Sales of high-yield debt – or, as they were once known, junk bonds – have exploded this year. In January alone, non-investment grade Asian companies, those whose debt is ranked by credit rating agencies as riskiest, sold just over $9bn (£6bn) of high-yield bonds, a year-on-year increase of more 6,000pc, according to figures from data provider Dealogic. In Europe, sales of high-yield debt is also running at record levels and nearly $30bn of bonds have been sold so far this year. ... In large part, the explosion in demand for high-yield debt has been a direct consequence of the response of Western governments to the last crisis. Since Lehman’s collapse, some $12 trillion has been pumped into the global financial system by central banks across the world in an effort to prop up banks and maintain low interest rates.


...

“What you’ve basically seen is people who don’t really want to take more risk being forced up the risk curve to get the yield they need,” says one London-based bond trader. ... S&P noted with alarm that despite its risk models showing that the probability of high-yield companies defaulting had nearly doubled in the past 12 months to a one-in-three chance, the yield on the bonds had halved over the same period as money continued to flood in. ... Several bankers and investors said the provision of leverage was now common in Asia, where clients of private banks will routinely demand to be lent money to win their custom amid a dog-fight among local and international banks to win a share of the region’s increasingly wealthy private investor base. Experienced traders regard many of these newcomers as “dumb money” and point to the enthusiasm with which the clientele of Asian private banks have bought highly-risky bail-in bonds from European banks.

The most notorious case of this was the sale by Barclays in November of a 10-year $3bn CoCo, or contingent convertible bond, which attracted enough orders to sell the debt more than five times over. That was despite the inclusion of a clause that meant that should the bank’s capital levels fall below a predetermined level the entirety of the investment would be wiped out. ... “By losing all value prior to existing credit and equity investors, this bond is essentially providing insurance to every other investor. In short, investing in these bonds is like being in a reverse lottery where someone gives you one pound every week and then suddenly turns up demanding millions,” said Ms Johnson. ... “The Asians will buy anything that carries an 8pc coupon because they think it’s lucky,” says one senior portfolio manager.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing...
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No. of Recommendations: 6
<“What you’ve basically seen is people who don’t really want to take more risk being forced up the risk curve to get the yield they need,” says one London-based bond trader. ... S&P noted with alarm that despite its risk models showing that the probability of high-yield companies defaulting had nearly doubled in the past 12 months to a one-in-three chance, the yield on the bonds had halved over the same period as money continued to flood in. ... >

These charts tell the story.

The High Yield Bond CCC or Below Effective Yield is the lowest on record, except for 2007 (pre-crisis) and the short period in 2011 before the Greek default crisis erupted.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BAMLH0A3HYCEY

However, the US High Yield CCC or Below Option-Adjusted Spread is significantly higher than it was in 2007 because Treasury yields have been pushed so low. Even though buyers are stretching for yield, they have not thrown caution to the wind by cutting spreads to the bone as they did pre-crisis.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BAMLH0A3HYC

As soon as Treasury yields begin to climb, the value of these bonds will plunge, unless the cause is a great economic recovery (because junk bonds act a lot like stocks -- the weak companies default less in a good recovery).

Because of the wider spreads, I don't expect the collapse to be as stark as it was in early 2009, possibly (hopefully) the greatest bond-buying opportunity of our generation.

Wendy
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No. of Recommendations: 3
http://quicktake.morningstar.com/stocknet/bonds.aspx?symbol=...

... a high-yield (corporate) bubble - so says the Telegraph:

And if you can buy a company that has the ability to cash flow through bad times, and you have faith in your assessment, and they are selling into the bubble by taking on debt, buy the stock.

AT&T fits this bill, as does PT. However, I am having significant doubts about PT's ability to survive the storm coming up in Europe.

Cheers
Qazulight
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