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Feature Article

The Debt Issue: Danger and High Yield Opportunity

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 12, 2022

For most of the past two decades, it’s been a sellers’ market for bonds and fixed income. Large institutions like pension funds have had literally no choice but to fill the bond portion of portfolios with whatever was for sale. And even when there’s been upward pressure on rates, financially strong companies have been able to wait for what’s been an inevitable return to better conditions—and the chance to issue new bonds at lower coupon rates. The proliferation of “green” bonds in recent years further drove down borrowing costs for projects deemed environmentally helpful. But with the highest inflation in 40 years and fastest pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes since the 1980s, the tables have turned decisively.

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