Corporate Europe's Borrowing Binge

Fear that war in Iraq will lead to an economic slump has companies rushing to issue bonds sooner rather than later

Investment banks in London, Frankfurt, and Paris thought corporate bond issues in Europe would grind to a virtual halt this quarter. After raising more than $600 billion in 2001, companies pulled in their horns last year as the euro-zone economy struggled to recover from recession. New-issue volumes slumped almost 20% during 2002.

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