Charles P. Wallace at Portfolio.com reports that the junk-bond market has been on a tear. Rates are dropping, making it easier for even weak companies to raise capital.
One year after the worst credit crisis in living memory, U.S. markets have come back to life. That’s especially true in the nether reaches of fixed income, where rates on high-yield debt have dropped from the high teens to the high single digits since a rally started last spring.
Jerry Kronenberg writes in the Boston Herald that former U.S. Senate hopeful Steve Pagliuca is touting one-time rival Martha Coakley’s job-creation credentials, but a new study questions his own firm’s ability to turn companies around. Moody’s recently ranked Boston-based Bain Capital – where Pagliuca serves as a managing director – the fifth-worst major private-equity firm in terms of buying businesses and saddling them with risky debts.
Access to Money, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AEMI), one of the largest providers and non-bank operators of ATMs in the United States, has been selected by Dunkin’ Brands as one of only two approved vendors to offer ATM machines to its Dunkin’ Donuts network of franchisees. The ATM program will be available to franchisees in New York and may expand to additional markets in 2010.
David Cho writes in the Washington Post that the Obama administration plans to channel money from the government’s massive financial bailout program to small businesses as part of an effort to limit the political and economic damage of high unemployment. One plan under consideration involves spinning off a new entity from the Troubled Assets Relief Program that would give banks access to federal funds without restrictions, including limits on executive pay, as long as the money was used to support loans to small businesses. But officials are not yet certain whether carving the program out of TARP would be the best way to encourage banks to boost small-business lending, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans are not final.
The construction of a Dunkin’ Donuts in the LaGrange town center remains at a standstill due to lack of capital. “The bank pulled the financing,” said Nick Palumbo, co-developer of the project on Route 55, next to Arlington High School. After receiving town Planning Board approval in June to build the Dunkin’ Donuts, Palumbo and co-developer Joe Deangelis made rapid progress in constructing the foundation and frame of the two-story structure.
Patricia Sellers interviewed Carlyle Group’s Sandra Horbach, who heads the private equity giant’s consumer and retail group, at the Women’s Alternative Investment Summit in New York last week. I shared a few highlights, and since the session drew terrific audience feedback, it’s worth giving you more of Horbach’s smart talk about managing through the recession, investing into the recovery, and navigating a career in private equity, where few women dare to tread.–Patricia Sellers.
The Obama administration is strongly urging Capitol Hill to add new funds to a popular small-business loan program that is nearly out of money. As part of the $787 billion fiscal stimulus package earlier this year, lawmakers included $375 million to support Small Business Administration (SBA) programs to spur lending through higher guarantees and reduced fees. The administration credits the programs with helping to rejuvenate lending for small businesses. Loan volumes under the program had crashed during the financial crisis last fall and winter. But the programs have been so popular this year that they are running out of money several months early.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner spent most of the day Wednesday with small-business owners and bankers, discussing ways to ease the credit crunch that’s stifling economic recovery on Main Street. Geithner and Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration, hosted the Small Business Financing Forum, fulfilling a promise President Barack Obama made when he announced initiatives last month to boost lending to small businesses.
Small business groups and lenders urged Congress to reinstate the 90 percent government guarantee and fee reductions on SBA loans. The economic stimulus bill provided the SBA with $375 million to increase the loan guarantee on the agency’s flagship 7(a) business loans to 90 percent and reduce or eliminate fees on 7(a) loans and 504 loans, which primarily finance real estate. That money, however, has run out.