Scared of fallen angels? So are the rating agencies

Data shows rating agencies more reluctant to downgrade firms at the investment-grade boundary

Fuelled by favourable funding conditions, corporate bond issuance has been buoyant since the 2008 financial crisis. According to OECD estimates, global issuance averaged $1.8 trillion annually between 2008 and 2019, more than twice the amount during the pre-crisis period of 2000–07. Outstanding corporate debt worldwide also doubled from 2008 to 2019 to reach $13.5 trillion. But it is not only size that matters. A concern has been the trend of an ever-larger share of corporate issuance in lower

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