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ChartBrief #2 - Junk Bonds and EM Debt

Today's ChartBrief looks at assets under management in the major US listed ETFs for US junk bonds and (hard dollar) emerging market sovereign bond ETFs. While the overall proliferation of assets in both of these asset classes since 2008 is fascinating, the recent surge is also worthy of note.

You might be thinking, what happened around February/March when assets seemed to surge in both of these asset classes? The first point is that was when the market bottomed across risk assets (and these 2 are basically risk assets with fixed income features), but the more important point is that's when the ECB announced it would expand its quantitative easing or QE program and include corporate bonds. The ECB has ramped up its pace of purchasing of corporate debt and this is fueling spillover into yield/spread product globally; helping to drive some of the results like the graph above. As to how it will end, well that's the subject of a more detailed article to come soon...

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