The Mysterious Case of the Missing $3 Trillion

Suzanne McGee writes at Portfolio.com that the financial crisis has changed the way people think about risk. At the end of every three-month period, data providers crunch through a mountain of information about stock and bond deals, M&A activity, and all kinds of other financing to produce the much-scrutinized “league tables.” And the final weeks of December were no exception, as Jody Drulard and his team at Dealogic LLC scrambled to put together a summary of Wall Street’s dealmaking for the watershed year of 2009. But instead of looking at what Wall Street firms had done in 2009 (notably, a big rebound in debt issuance that earned $18.2 billion in fees for investment banks and banks globally), Drulard found himself pondering what wasn’t showing up on the league tables he was compiling. Specifically, that missing $3 trillion or so of capital that Wall Street had raised every year for most of the first decade of the 21st century.

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Worth Its Weight in Junk

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.

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Congress Boosts SBA Loans

Portfolio.com reports that after weeks of talk about the credit crunch facing small businesses, Washington finally is doing something about it.

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Bain Gets Poor Moody’s Review

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.

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Access to Money Selected by Dunkin’ Brands as a Provider of ATMs for Franchisees

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.

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Joblessness Plan Revamps Rules on Bank Bailouts

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.

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Bank’s Pullout Idles Dunkin’ Donuts Construction

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.

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Obama wants $100M more to carry small-business programs

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.

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Main Street’s Credit Crunch

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.

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