On the Fritz

Martin Fridson

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As indicators go, the risk premium on speculative-grade debt ranks way below job growth in generating excitement in Washington. True, Alan Greenspan has occasionally set tongues wagging by mentioning the high-yield index’s spread-versus-Treasuries. But whether or not Greenspan deems it important to talk about the speculative-grade spread in a given month, his staff monitors it faithfully.

On September 15, the high-yield risk premium briefly emerged from the shadows to play a bit role in the U

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