Many Marvels: The Year In Corporate CreditMany Marvels: The Year In Corporate Credit
One the many marvels of 2020 was the US corporate bond market, where borrowers were able to access cheap money in record amounts despite (or because of, depending on how you want to conceptualize things) the worst economic downturn in a century.
When the lockdowns began in March, credit markets convulsed. Spreads ballooned wider, CDX exhibited multi-standard deviation moves, outflows accelerated, and popular ETFs looked to be on the brink of “breaking,” as big discounts to NAV suggested the underlying liquidity mismatch in retail credit products was finally being exposed as an untenable flaw (figure below).
Ultimately, the Fed stepped in on March 23, and then, just days later, unveiled a backstop for fallen angels and high yield ETFs.