Private equity and leveraged finance markets

CGFS Publications No 30
July 2008

Summary

The credit market turmoil since mid-2007 has substantially affected the terms and conditions of funding in leveraged finance markets. Rising investor risk aversion, growing pressure on bank balance sheets and a loss of confidence in structured credit products have sharply reduced demand for leveraged loans. The materialisation of warehouse risks from failed leveraged loan syndications contributed to unwanted expansion of bank balance sheets and has affected credit supply. The knock-on effects from deteriorating conditions in leveraged loan markets have also affected private equity financing. Against the background of these developments, the working group report on private equity and leveraged finance markets under the chairmanship of Henk Brouwer of the Netherlands Bank addresses two broad questions. First, what have been the important trends during the period of rapid growth in the markets for leveraged finance, private equity and leveraged buyouts, and how has market growth affected incentives and corporate structures? Second, how have leveraged finance markets performed since mid-2007, which risks have surfaced, and what preliminary lessons can be drawn for financial stability?