September 22, 2020 - Last week the LSTA’s grassroots affiliate, the Business Loans Coalition (BLC), engaged directly with four members of the Congress. All the members serve on the House Financial Services Committee, the committee in the House that has primary jurisdiction over most issues that impact the syndicated loan market. Like so many other things impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, even the way we engage with members of Congress has been disrupted; all our “meetings” were conducted through Zoom. As we noted last week, Congressman Jim Himes (D. CT) appeared in the second edition of the BLC’s insider webcast series which is open exclusively to BLC members. Himes noted that the coronavirus pandemic is much less threatening in terms of systemic risk than was the Great Financial Crisis, including systemic risk around leveraged loans.
Also last week staff members of the LSTA staff joined separate calls with Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R. MO) and Sean Casten (D. IL). We had the opportunity to describe how the loan and CLO markets have bounced back after a rough stretch at the beginning of the pandemic, proving that, contrary to some narratives, those markets are robust and not systemically risky. We also described to Congressman Casten, who is keenly interested in environmental issues, how ESG is becoming increasingly important to loan market investors and noted that the LSTA has recently developed an ESQ Questionnaire.
Finally, last Thursday LSTA staff were joined by two board members on an exclusive call with Congressman French Hill (R. AK) who displayed a deep understanding of the financial markets, how they are being impacted by COVID-19 and what we should be considering going forward. Last week’s four Zoom calls clearly demonstrated the importance of the Business Loans Coalition to the LSTA advocacy efforts and the impact those efforts can have. We urge you to join this mission by signing up for free individual membership to the BLC by clicking here.