Bondholders feel the strain

bond outlook

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Corporate bond investors have been riding high for the past few years. Credit quality has steadily improved, default rates have fallen dramatically and once-neglected balance sheets have been patched up. Rating downgrades still outpaced upgrades on US corporations in 2004’s second quarter but only by the narrowest of margins, and through a combination of cost cuts and profitability gains, corporate America’s cash reserves have seen remarkable growth.

Unfortunately for bondholders, however, the co

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