"There are snakes that go months without eating. And then they finally catch something, but they're so hungry that they suffocate while they're eating. One opportunity at a time." - Don Draper, Mad Men

The year 2009 was a year of mixed signals-on one hand, revised assumptions by rating agencies such as Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings led to a series of downgrades. Fitch also cited concern that rising default levels, lower recoveries and refinancing risk may indicate even more downgrades in the future. On the other hand, trading prices for CLO notes made a dramatic rebound in the first half of 2009, and the first middle-market (MM) CLO of the year priced in December (NewStar Commercial Loan Trust, 2009-I). In addition, new warehouse-type securitizations have begun to emerge, with Ares Capital Corp. and Fifth Street Finance Corp. announcing deals with Wells Fargo in 2009.

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