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NEW YORK/ST. LOUIS (Reuters) – Bankers, executives and investors are warning Federal Reserve officials behind closed doors that record leveraged lending to companies from lightly-regulated corners of Wall Street could make any economic downturn harder to manage. With the second-longest U.S. expansion in its advanced stages, the worry is that a key part of the credit market could be particularly vulnerable to a slowdown, as highly-indebted companies face a greater risk of default. Some of those involved in the debate who spoke to Reuters expressed frustration that the Fed is not taking the risk seriously enough types of vintage cufflinks uk sale.
“There is a sense at the Fed that it needs to watch this area, leveraged credit, but it’s still in the infancy and it’s unclear how far will it go,” said an economist familiar with the Fed’s efforts. In a worst-case scenario that would faintly echo the financial crisis a decade ago, the defaults could worsen any downturn by destabilizing big non-bank lenders, such as private equity firms and hedge funds, and hitting employment across U.S. industries types of vintage cufflinks uk sale. Leveraged loans are typically made to already indebted firms with low credit ratings, and the concern is that the loans would be difficult to either collect or resell in a downturn, putting both the borrower and lender at risk..
“Just the sheer size of market-based credit intermediation is very different (from years past) and we don’t quite know how that is going to behave in a downturn,” Tobias Adrian, director of the monetary and capital markets department at the International Monetary Fund, said in an interview. Few believe leveraged loans today would set off a crisis similar to the one triggered by a wave of defaults in the U.S types of vintage cufflinks uk sale. subprime mortgage market in 2008, since they are focused on a smaller part of the economy than the sprawling housing market..
They do, however, risk handcuffing companies and lenders trying to react to a downturn, possibly making it more painful types of vintage cufflinks uk sale. The Fed on Wednesday is due to publish for the first time a new semiannual report on financial stability, analyzing conditions in different corners of the financial system including leveraged lending. The central bank itself may have contributed to the ballooning $1.12-trillion U.S. leveraged loan market by holding interest rates near zero for seven years in the wake of the recession to encourage lending and investment..
By comparison, collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, which spread toxic housing debt through the world’s financial system, was worth some $61 trillion globally in 2007, according to the Bank for International Settlements types of vintage cufflinks uk sale. The total leveraged loan market is now about double what it was in 2008, and it has grown 17 percent so far this year, based on the S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index. A record 59 percent of those ‘junk’ loans are rated B+ or worse, according to S&P Global. ‘Risks attributable from this debt binge are significant,’ it said last month. (Graphic: tmsnrt.rs/2DAQPl4)..