The foreign legion

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Foreign holders of credit have been increasing their stake in the fixed-income realm and have recently eclipsed the life insurance industry as the largest holders of corporate debt, according to Federal Reserve data. The proportion of total corporate debt held by foreigners increased from 13.9% in the fourth quarter of 1997 to 24.6% in the fourth quarter of 2004. The amount of debt held by life insurance companies, however, fell by 4.8 percentage points over the same time period to comprise

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