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Here is a very interesting presentation on the pace of investment grade corporate bond issuance this year prepared by a friend who works at Bloomberg. Issuance is frantic, it would seem:

Of late, the IG new issue corporate bond market has been in a rush. As noted before, the first quarter of 2009 in Bloomberg’s data base is a record. It is likely that the same is true for other tracking services. And interestingly the weekly pattern for March is within a range that is relatively consistent with the first two months of then year. (Each month assumes 4 weeks/20 trading sessions)


MONTH........IG ISSUANCE...# OF DEALS...DAILY AVG....WEEKLY AVG
JANUARY......141.715....................120.............7.086...........35.428 bln
FEBRUARY...100.550....................113.............5.028...........25.138 bln
MARCH..........131.185....................149.............6.559...........32.796 bln


Even more interesting, the monthly average for 2009 is extraordinary compared to other years:
YEAR......IG ISSUANCE...MONTHLY AVG & PERCENT DIFFERENCE
2009..........393.450....................124.483..........+76.75%
2008..........211.214......................70.405...........-33%
2007..........281.058......................93.686..........+17%
2006..........240.171......................80.057..........+22.375%
2005..........196.179......................65.393

Source: Corporate Bonds: The Pace of Issuance