Martin Fridson

The speculative-grade spread bodes well for the US economy


As economic 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. The main reason such comments have attracted notice, however, is that the “junk bond” spread is not among the data series routinely cited by the Fed chairman. But whether or not Greenspan deems it important to talk about in a given month, his

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