For High Yield Bonds, Is "Frothy" The New "Irrational Exuberance"
Barclays index of high yield bond total returns is now 63% higher that its pre-crisis peak. This compares to an equivalent total return index for the S&P 500 was only 12% (and it has yet to break the October 2007 highs). These numbers are astronomical in the face of micro- and macro-fundamentals and while equity markets remain the policy tool du jour for the central planning elite, it appears they are perhaps starting to become a little concerned that driving all the retiring boomers 'safe' money into risky bets may not end so well. Just as Alan Greenspan stepped on the throat of equity markets with his now infamous 'irrational exuberance' speech, we wonder, as Bloomberg notes, if last night's speech to the Economic Club of New York by Bill Dudley is the new normal equivalent, as he noted, "some areas of fixed income - notably high-yield and leveraged loans - do seem somewhat frothy," just as we warned here. With the high-yield index trading at 5.56% yield - the lowest in over 25 years and loans bid at 98.27 (the highest since July 2007), perhaps he is right to note, "we will need to keep a close eye on financial asset prices."
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