In the first half of this year, there appeared to be a growing divergence between the US and European bond markets. US fundamentals seemed to be strengthening at the same time as the Eurozone crisis raged, leading some commentators to talk of a decoupling between the two regions.
From a US perspective, the second half has been far less comfortable: second-quarter growth ended up well below expectations; unemployment remains high at just under 10%; and the expectations are that the Federal Reserve will embark on another bout of quantitative easing.
Despite uncertainty on financials and the wider economy, the underlying outlook for credit remains positive, a fact reflected in the strong performance of investment grade, high yield and leveraged loans. If investment analysts and economists are correct, a demographic shift towards credit is taking place, as the baby boomers look for stable, fixed returns in their retirement. Barring some unforeseen calamity, that should support technicals well into 2011.
Over the next several pages, we unveil the winners of this year’s Credit Americas Awards, and get the thoughts of the leading banks and service providers in the US market on the key drivers of activity in 2010 and their predictions for next year.
Click below for details of the individual winners.