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Brave New World: Operationalizing SOFR!

At this point, most lenders know that LIBOR is likely to cease shortly after the end of 2021 and the Secured Overnight Funding Rate (“SOFR”) is very likely to be the replacement rate for syndicated loans and CLOs. While we know that, a major question remains.

Leveraged Lending and CLO White Paper

Broadly syndicated loans to non-investment grade U.S. Corporations are widely misunderstood outside of the loan industry. A number of commentators imply that leveraged loans are shadowy corporate equivalents to pre-crisis sub-prime mortgages. This is clearly not true and, to respond to such conflations, the LSTA recently published this white paper addressing these views.

LSTA Newsletter: October 4, 2019

This week, we start off by briefly reviewing the US leveraged loan market to date in 2019. We then turn to LIBOR and SOFR, and flag (spread adjustment) progress being made (really!). Finally, we shift to the intersection of the courts and DC to discuss why Volcker and litigation might limit banks’ ability to invest in […]

The LSTA Meets with the SEC on Volcker

As we noted recently, because of recent litigation over whether term loan Bs should be considered securities, the implications for CLOs of the current interpretation of the Volcker Rule have suddenly become a critical issue. Fortunately, the SEC and a number of banking agencies are currently deliberating over potential amendments to the Volcker Rule providing an opening to address this potential issue.

LSTA Newsletter: September 13, 2019

This week, we start off pondering the August secondary slump (but console ourselves with the YTD 6.5% return).  We then turn to CLOs by: 1) analyzing their ownership and runnability and 2) defending them in the press. And what’s a week without LIBOR? We end with the latest (accounting) hurdle to LIBOR transition being knocked […]

CLOs: Who’s Holding (for the Long-Term)?

There have been the periodic comments that i) no one knows who owns CLO notes and ii) this might mean fire sales in a downturn. We want to tackle both these narratives head-on. To do so, we first review literature that reveals the owners of CLO notes and then we highlight recent analysis on how these holders likely will behave in a downturn. Spoiler: We know many of the holders and they’re unlikely to be forced to unwind positions.

LSTA Promotes CLO Industry in Pensions & Investments

Our own Lee Shaiman, executive director of the LSTA, recently contributed a by-lined article on the health of the CLO industry to Pensions & Investments. The outlet is a leading, go-to news source for institutional investors such as pensions, endowments, insurance companies and similar entities. The article explains that there are a number of reasons why CLO notes should remain attractive investments within well-diversified portfolios.

Volcker Rule Update: Intersection of Regulation and Litigation

On August 20th, the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) separately approved final rules amending rules originally published in November 2013 that implemented the Volcker Rule. Importantly, while those amendments do not affect loans and CLOs, the agencies signaled that amendments to the part of the Volcker Rule pertaining to CLOs would be forthcoming sometime in the future.

LIBOR Fallbacks: Good News… and Less Good News

There is good news – and less good news – on LIBOR fallback language in cash products like loans, FRNs and CLOs. On the good news front, it looks like most cash products are now including fallback language in new deals. This is critical because many instruments will be outstanding when LIBOR ends after 2021, and if they don’t have good fallback language, there could be contract frustration (and litigation). However, on the less-good-news front, the fallback language is not always consistent (which may lead to a lot of work to determine exactly how each instrument would fall back) or workable en masse (which may lead to traffic jams as everyone tries to amend their deals at the same time). We discuss the fallback status of FRNs and loans below. (And we’d gently remind readers that several CLOs have gone “hardwired”, per LCD and Covenant Review).

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LSTA Newsletter: December 6, 2019

This week, we revise our LIBOR deadline from 12/31/21 to 3Q20. (Well, technically, that was the FCA…and just for Stg LIBOR.) We review the secondary trading market in October (and hint toward November) and recap the latest on ESG and ratings. Finally, we remind you that we are now offering members a weekly LIBOR Q&A […]

Sustainability-Linked Loans: Financing the Green Transition

This practice note provides an overview of sustainability-linked loans (SLL). Sustainability-themed debt instruments represent one response of the financial community to the need to channel capital towards facilitating a carbon transition. A Lexis Practice Advisor Practice Note by Amara Gossin, Barclays and Robert Lewis, Sidley Austin

ESG and Cyber in Credit Ratings Presentation

The focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues is intensifying across financial markets – the loan market included. This presentation was done by Jim Hempstead, Managing Director, Global Project & Infrastructure Finance and Brendan Sheehan, VP-Senior Analyst-Environmental, Social & Governance both from Moody’s Investor Service.

Secondary Trading & Settlement Monthly: October Executive Summary

November was a solid month in the secondary loan market, with S&P/LSTA Leveraged Loan Index (LLI) returning 0.59%. October, however, was a different story. Secondary loan trading volume spiked 19% in October to a six-month high of $64 billion. This followed a two-month stretch where volumes fell below $60 billion per month.

Credit Ratings and ESG (Part 1)

As 2019 comes to a close, the rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) significance in financial markets has been undeniable. In Europe, this trend is quite established, but over the last two years it has jumped the pond and there is now significant ESG interest by U.S. investors.