On the Fritz

martin fridson

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If you believe the diagnosis by the so-called experts, 2004’s deterioration in high-yield new-issue quality is a symptom of a widespread malady otherwise known as serial amnesia. “Portfolio managers have forgotten how bad things were in 2002,” the pundits tell us. “They are buying extremely risky bonds on the assumption that credit conditions will remain favorable forever.”

Assuming that the gurus’ diagnosis is accurate, investor amnesia must have been particularly acute last year. Merrill L

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