On the Fritz

High yield and the art of persuasion


The nearly universal belief on Wall Street is that investors respond only to something-for-nothing propositions. A paradox lies therein: securities dealers extol the integrity and fairness of the market whenever the threat of regulation raises its ugly head. Their sales pitches to investors, however, offer no hint that the market fulfills its purpose of pricing capital appropriately in light of the associated risk. To hear salespeople talk, a portfolio manager can hardly set foot in the market

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