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SEC Asset Management Advisory Committee Recommendations Regarding Covid-19 Volatility

Divergences between market prices and NAVs were particularly notable in fixed income ETPs. Changes to fixed income market structure may reduce transaction costs and lessen the severity of premiums/discounts in fixed income ETPs during future periods of volatility. Discussion at the May 27, 2020, AMAC meeting focused on four potential changes to fixed income market structure that could enhance transparency and price discovery in fixed income markets

Companies Shed Workers, Paid Dividends After Getting Fed Aid, Panel Finds – Politico

Full Article: Politico

“Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified in June that ‘the intended beneficiaries of all of our programs are workers,’” the committee staff said in the analysis. “However, the Select Subcommittee’s analysis indicates that many large layoffs have occurred among the companies whose bonds were purchased by the Fed, suggesting that the primary beneficiaries of the program have been corporate executives and investors, not workers.”

NY Fed Designates MarketAxess as Eligible Seller for Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility – MarketWatch

Full Article: MarketWatch

MarketAxess is well positioned for this role in view of the rapid growth in Open Trading, its global, all-to-all market that has proved an essential source of liquidity during the recent period of credit market stress. With its Eligible Seller designation, MarketAxess provides end investors and broker-dealers the opportunity to use Open Trading to respond directly and anonymously to the Fed’s requests to purchase bonds.

Dutch Regulator Calls for Overhaul of MiFID II Fixed Income Transparency Rules – The Trade

Full Article: The Trade

“In general, we note that the overall sentiment is that MiFID II has not yet delivered on its goals in the fixed income markets and can still be considered a work in progress,” the AFM’s report stated. “The main finding is that MiFID II’s focus on transparency based on liquidity has proven to be counterproductive given the lack of liquidity in the fixed income markets where most instruments are tailor-made and not designed to be traded on a secondary market in the first place.”

Crisis? What Crisis? USD Corporate Bond Liquidity Since COVID – Seeking Alpha 

Full Article: Seeking Alpha

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted nearly all asset classes, and USD corporate bonds have not been spared. As the mid-March 2020 market volatility affected USD corporate bond prices, it also compromised their liquidity. While these spikes in liquidity costs occurred across the USD corporate bond asset class, we found the level of impact-and the path to returning to pre-crisis levels-varied across credit rating and sectors.

Bond Traders Ought to Swap Mythology for Modernity – Bloomberg

Full Article: Bloomberg

So then why have these seemingly common-sense, pro-transparency adjustments remained elusive for so long? Those who follow the battles within corporate-bond market structure might recall that BlackRock Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co., neither of whom are part of the Credit Roundtable, were on the same side recently in advocating for a pilot program that would reduce secondary-market transparency in exchange for potentially better liquidity.