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With the corporate bond index trailing the performance of the Treasury market on a year-to-date basis, it seems reasonable enough to think that the major question facing fixed-income investment managers is whether or not they should invest in corporate bonds. But with issuance volumes dropping like a stone this year, the more pertinent question is fast becoming whether or not they can.

From the outset, forecasts for 2004 issuance were always down on last year’s levels. 2003 saw consistently heavy

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