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todd, the spread i am talking about is between the higher rated debt and the US treasury. aren't all of those defaults in the lower grades BBB- and below? no question there was a lot of high yield debt floated again in the mid to late 90s - look at GX at 20 cents for example.

here again, i'm not sure that the relationship with time holds due to the changing nature of the high yield market since the mid 80's. i can still find secured debt with graham's 4-7 times interest rate coverage yielding 250BP more than a US treasury.

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