It's Junk, But Not Garbage

Despite the market rout, an '80s-style crash is unlikely

It almost seemed like Michael R. Milken was riding high again. In the first six months of 1998, some $117 billion in high-yield bonds were issued, nearly surpassing the recordbreaking $120 billion for all of 1997. After eight years of seeking respect, high-yield was on the verge of shedding its junk aura.

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