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Junk Bond Defaults Reach 10-Year High

November 08, 2001

Defaults on junk bonds worldwide rose to the highest level in nearly 10 years, with 206 issuers defaulting on $87 billion in speculative-grade bonds, Moody's Investors Service reported Wednesday. The default rate in October rose to 9.6%, up from 9% in September and 5.7% in 2000, when 167 issuers defaulted on $49.1 billion in bonds. Moody's said it expected the default rate to peak at 11% in early 2002. That rate would be below the post-Depression peak of 13%, which was set in July 1991.

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