Friday, March 30, 2018

29/3/18: Credit downgrades and the sunny horizons of peak growth

The global economy is picking up steam. The U.S. economy is roaring to strength. 2018 is going to be another 'peak year'. Tax cuts are driving equity valuations up. Corporate balance sheets are getting healthier by a day... and so on.

The positivity of recent headline has been contrasted by the realities of the gargantuan bubble in corporate debt. A bubble that is not going to get any healthier any time soon. In fact, based on the latest data (through 4Q 2017) from the S&P Global Market Intelligence, H1 2017 trend toward relatively balanced (or rather relatively moderately negative skew) credit ratings has turned decisively negative in 2H 2017. Worse, 4Q 2017 dynamics were markedly worse than 3Q 2017 dynamics:

Which brings up the following question: if things are getting downgraded that fast, what's likely to happen with the Fed policy 'normalization' impact on the corporate credit markets? Answers on tears-proof napkins, please.

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