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Oct 31, 2000

A different class of junk

Europe is slowly latching onto the idea of high-yield bonds

Europeans still shy away from junk bonds. The links with the 1980s excesses of Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert are still just a little too much to bear. Junk is garbage. Junk is rubbish. Junk is, well, junk – and few in Europe's conservative corporate world want their company associated with that sort of thing. Call them high-yield corporate bonds, however, or below investment grade debt and you're onto a winner. Then it becomes acceptable. Then it becomes a serious means of

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