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Enigma of Junk Explained in Pension Fund’s Return Hurdle

To understand why investors are willingly accepting the lowest yields ever on the riskiest corporate securities, look to Japan.

As central banks around the world keep interest rates near zero and investors struggle to find ways to boost returns, managers of Japan’s $1.25 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund said in minutes of a March meeting released in May that they’re considering loosening their practice of only buying investment-grade debt and venturing into junk bonds.