The market for so-called covenant-light loans that lack typical lender safeguards such as limits on debt has already soared to $155 billion this year, beating the record $96.6 billion in 2007, according to Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ Leveraged Commentary and Data.
Junk-bond sales rose 24 percent to $235.3 billion through Aug. 9 compared to the same period a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those securities and leveraged loans are rated below Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service and less than BBB-at S&P.
Sales of payment-in-kind, or PIK, notes, which allow borrowers who can’t meet interest obligations to pay with additional debt, total more than $6.5 billion this year, on pace to top the $8.1 billion issued in 2012, Bloomberg data show.
Corporate bonds in the lowest rating tier of CCC made up 10.3 percent of the $22.4 billion in high yield sales in July, the most since 2011, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
And if Bloomberg reporters see it, so does the Fed. Taper’s a lock, folks. And it couldn’t come soon enough.