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Expand chart
Reproduced from Moody's; Chart: Axios Visuals

The quality of North American leveraged loan covenants rose back near its weakest level on record in the third quarter of 2019, according to ratings agency Moody's.

What it means: Moody's Loan Covenant Quality Indicator (LCQI) "tracks the degree of overall investor protection in the covenant packages of individual speculative-grade leveraged loans issued in the US and Canada," the company says.

  • Loan covenant quality is measured on a five-point scale, with 1 meaning the strongest investor protections and 5 meaning the weakest.

The intrigue: "The weakening protection is all the more striking because it continued even as volumes declined and spreads widened from Q2 to Q3," Moody's senior covenant officer Derek Gluckman said in a statement.

  • "Normally, covenant protections would improve in such market conditions. But the findings suggest that risks are increasing and that while investors are voicing caution, they are not effectively pushing back on permissive covenant terms."

Go deeper:

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2 hours ago - World

2 Americans wanted over Ghosn's escape handed to Japanese authorities

Former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn during a news conference in Jounieh, Lebanon, last September. Photo: Hasan Shaaban/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Two Americans accused of helping former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn flee Japan in a box in 2019 were handed over to Japanese custody Monday, their lawyer said.

Why it matters: The extradition of Michael Taylor, 60, a private security specialist and former Green Beret, and his son Peter Maxwell Taylor, 27, ends a months-long fight to remain in the U.S.

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after 3rd woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

Scoop: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans will reclaim their majority in 2022 by offering candidates who are women, minorities or veterans, a memo obtained by Axios says.

Why it matters: The document, drafted by a super PAC blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, names top Democrats to target — Jared Golden of Maine, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Ron Kind of Wisconsin — and the type of Republican candidates to beat them.

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