The EU summit statement lacked any of the details or enforcement mechanisms that we wanted to see.
The longer-term trend for the corporate bond markets will depend on this week's European summit.
An increasing number of exogenous factors are affecting available capital.
Last week's jump in Italian bond prices did not appear emblematic of a typical market action.
While the initial bailout framework was enough to suppress near-term contagion fears, there continues to be enough smoke to indicate that potential fires are smoldering beneath the surface.
We find it disconcerting that the security that should benefit the most from the European plan has not appreciated along with the rest of the markets.
We are concerned that Wednesday's plan may be long on rhetoric but short in specifics.
We continue to be leery of how political risk and a possible slowdown in emerging markets will affect the marketplace.
We remain skeptical that the Europeans are close to being able to announce a decisive and comprehensive plan.
We're expanding our corporate credit ratings to include global banks.
The markets were quick to give back rumor-fueled gains last week, but at currently heightened spreads, credit risk looks attractive from a fundamental viewpoint.
Despite official denials, we've suspected for a while that policymakers have been working on a Plan B to allow Greece to fail while supporting the short-term funding markets.
The markets continue to price in a high probability of default as European regulators debate rather than compromise on a solution.
Greek bonds are pricing in a near-term default, while French financials are in the hot seat.
With no major announcement from Bernanke on Friday, some arm-twisting might be needed before a consensus is reached in the Fed.
While equity markets tumbled, credit markets worked to maintain their position.
Last week's violent mood swings left investors trying to figure out what the real valuation of credit risk should be in this type of market environment.
It's hard to argue against owning Microsoft bonds at a spread over Treasuries.
Deals will affect bondholders in different ways. Plus, get our take on the eurozone bailout and the eleventh hour of U.S. debt ceiling negotiations.
Despite decent reported earnings so far, the market's attention has been captured by the ongoing sagas in Brussels and Washington.
Volatility in the credit markets will continue for the foreseeable future.
Given the proper contingency plans, we don't think a default by Greece will cause a widespread financial meltdown.
With the market providing seemingly better value today than a couple of months ago, the number of fixed-income opportunities certainly must be getting larger.
Credit spreads will likely enter a narrow trading range over the next few months until the markets gain further clarity on the longer term.
The key to maintaining price stability isn't just observing and controlling current inflation, but rather observing and controlling the expectation of inflation.
The market has shown strength in the face of a voluminous amount of new issues and some disappointing economic indicators.
The draw of low interest rates combined with tight credit spreads keeps issuers coming back to the market for more.
Some new issues weakened in the secondary market last week.
Even with mixed economic indicators and volatility in the commodities market, we continue to believe that corporate credit spreads will tighten.
Investors took the Fed's recent statement as a green light to reach for yield as long as credit remains easy.
We expect S&P's recent action was only the first shot across the bow and there will be further warnings.
One of the dominant themes this year will be the focus on providing shareholder value, even if it comes at the detriment of bondholders.
Risky transactions in the corporate bond market are staging a comeback.
There is a voracious demand for bonds issued in Chinese currency in Hong Kong, and we suspect additional firms are evaluating, and will issue, renminbi-denominated bonds.
Credit spreads tightened last week, and the market easily absorbed an abundance of new issues.
The sell-off in the credit markets following the Japan crisis was fairly orderly last week.
The timing of the PIMCO manager's move out of Treasuries so many months before the Fed is scheduled to end its bond purchase program strikes us as odd.
The corporate bond market continued to be a beneficiary of the sell-off in the municipal bond market, but this trend could end soon.
Aside from Illinois' new issue, there were encouraging signs last week in the new issue market for traditional municipal bonds.
A number of technical factors in the municipal bond market have magnified the selling pressure.
While we still have a long way to tighten before we get to the historically tight spread levels before the credit crisis, we are starting to see developments that concern us.
As commodity prices skyrocket around the world, interest rates have been steadily rising.
The turmoil in the municipal bond market is forcing muni bond portfolio managers to sell what they can, not what they want to.
The weak economic environment has made M&A an appealing way to 'purchase' growth through bolt-on acquisitions, while some sectors are still suffering from overcapacity, making the build versus buy decision tilt to the latter.
European banks find U.S. market more receptive and with cheaper financing than the European fixed-income market.
While we continue to expect credit spreads to tighten over the course of the year, we expect the pace to slow dramatically.
Given our expectations of continued growth in sales and production in 2011, we review our current credit coverage list among the auto original-equipment manufacturers.
Credit spreads have now recaptured one half of the spread widening because of the most recent sovereign crisis.
Our forward-looking credit rating process sets us apart from the agencies.