On the high-yield new-issue battlefield, January’s unchecked advance by the issuers has turned to orderly retreat and consolidation. The change in fortunes comes none too soon for portfolio managers. They were beginning to feel like Polish cavalry units going up against German tanks in 1939.
That fabled military mismatch never actually happened, but the advantage held by high-yield issuers in 2004’s opening weeks was only too real. Corporations demanded and got reductions in call protection