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In Birthplace of Junk, Investors See Risks After Decade of Debt

  • Company borrowings have grown much faster than consumer debt
  • ‘There’s going to be a reckoning,’ TCW’s Rivelle says
U.S. Currency Production At The Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Corporate debt investors, having partied like it’s 1999, should remember what came after that: a big wave of defaults.

The 2000 to 2002 recession looms only faintly in the minds of many on Wall Street, but it may be the best model for the potential pain coming in company debt, said LibreMax Capital’s Greg Lippmann in an interview this week at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills. The consumers that were a key part of the 2008 downturn, in contrast, look relatively strong this time around, he added. Last decade, Lippmann was among the first to recognize that the U.S. housing bubble was near bursting.