Record Plunge In Jefferies Bonds Implies Chance Of Default Is 65% By 2019

Troubled Jefferies & Co does not have actively traded CDS referencing it, which is probably a good thing. It does, however, have cash bonds and while its equity price remains above the lows from two weeks ago, bond prices are cratering and just traded at record lows. The 8.5% of 2019s are actively trading around $92-95 (having fallen from $110 in two weeks and $120 in three months). This price represents a yield of 9.5% (or a z-spread of 823bps!). Translating the asset swap spread of 756bps from this bond into a CDS contract, we see a cumulative 65% probability of default (over the next 8 years) being priced into the market (assuming a 40% recovery).

It certainly seems like the bond market is much more nervous of JEF than the equity market for now:

 

Charts: Bloomberg