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Expect Low Returns From Corporate Bonds Next Year, CreditSights Says

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The investment-grade corporate bond market has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels. Strategists at CreditSights say that is a bad sign for investors looking for strong returns next year.

The independent credit-research shop downgraded the market to Underperform from Outperform. CreditSights argues that while the risk of an increase in defaults remains low, the market’s current yield of 1.9% offers insufficient income. The market yields 1.1 percentage points more than comparable Treasuries, compared with roughly 1 percentage point before the pandemic.

“Tight valuations leave little room for outperformance, and our expectation [is that] a ‘back to normal’ environment will have investors looking elsewhere for yield,” a team led by Erin Lyons, co-head of U.S. investment grade research, wrote in a note this month.

But even with low default rates, CreditSights says a few major risks remain. The strategists forecast that the market will likely provide a return of

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Moscow Hobbles Into New Year With Fresh Financial Scandal

Another year, another scandal involving major brand name firms and well-known investors. If they’re not in jail for alleged tax evasion and fraud, they’re probably being investigated for it.

The latest? BBDO Group in Moscow, which happens to be owned by Manhattan based (and publicly traded) Omnicom
OMC
.

Like many corporate scandals in Russia, it starts with an “insider”. A whistleblower named Nikolai Evgenievich Krasko sent a letter to the Russian version of the Internal Revenue Service, which was revealed by the government on November 26, saying “I have first-hand knowledge that that company specifically was used to illegally shelter over 3 billion rubles (around $45 million),” he wrote. He went on to list financial transactions dating from 2015 to 2019. None of

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Fed’s Nightmare Year Isn’t Over Yet as U.S. Jobs Sour: Eco Week

(Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve will start confronting the case for more stimulus to support the U.S. economy on Wednesday as it holds its final policy meeting of a truly momentous year.

The central bank in Washington, one of at least 16 monetary institutions worldwide scheduled for a decision this week, now has the specter of a marked slowdown in the labor-market’s rebound to consider after the latest jobs data for November.



map: Central Bank Rate Decisions This Week


© Bloomberg
Central Bank Rate Decisions This Week

The recent surge in Covid-19 cases is hitting workers and curbing the broader economic recovery. Resumed stay-at-home advisories in some of America’s biggest cities, such as Los Angeles and Chicago, have been a blow to some businesses still reeling from lockdowns at the start of the pandemic.

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That may push the Federal Open Market Committee to debate changes to its bond-buying program or alter its guidance for future

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NTT’s record bond issue to wrap up bumper year for Japan corporate bond market

By Hideyuki Sano and Makiko Yamazaki



a close up of a sign: The logo of NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) is displayed at the company office in Tokyo


© Reuters/ISSEI KATO
The logo of NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) is displayed at the company office in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) launched the country’s biggest-ever corporate bond sale worth 1 trillion yen ($9.57 billion) on Friday, as the telecom giant doubled its borrowing plan encouraged by robust investor interest this year.

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Corporate bond issues in Japan have already surpassed the annual record set last year of 13.0 trillion yen so far in 2020, ahead of debt sale rush in December, according to Refinitiv data.

“After COVID-19, Japanese corporations are trying to accumulate much more money on their balance sheets, so demand for financing is increasing, which is why many companies are issuing corporate bonds in addition to bank loans,” said Toshiyasu Ohashi, chief credit strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“There’s hope of keeping this volume

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Social Media in 2020: A Year of Misinformation and Disinformation

Kate Starbird

is an associate professor at the University of Washington and a co-founder of the Center for an Informed Public, which researches the spread of misinformation and disinformation on social-media platforms. She has been studying social media, especially its use during crises, since 2009, the year that

Facebook

became the dominant online social-media site.

The Wall Street Journal talked to Prof. Starbird about what her research says about the impact of social media in 2020, and the work that still needs to be done to realize the benefits that social media can bring. Edited excerpts follow.

WSJ: What would you say is the most important takeaway from the social-media world in 2020?

PROF. STARBIRD: We’re really focused right now on a lot of the negatives with social media. But there are still positive dimensions. We’re still seeing people being able to reach out and connect with other people at

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Advertising history from the year you were born | Personal Finance

Advertising and marketing goods and services have been around since the dawn of time, with business practices and branding evolving into an industry that generated $118 billion in 2018.

The ever-changing landscape of technology has also massively changed how advertisers reach their target demographic. In just one decade, they have gone from primarily appealing to consumers through magazine and newspaper endorsements to crafting television and radio spots to making the most of the digital advertising age, particularly on social media giants like Facebook and Instagram.

However, the era that many are most familiar with—particularly thanks to shows like “Thirtysomething,” “Mad Men,” and “Bewitched”—is the “Golden Age of Advertising” from the 1960s to the 1980s, with its lavish lunches and high society ad agency figures.

But since then, advertising has changed significantly, not just in terms of technology and techniques, but also in terms of how it treats women and people

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