A reckoning has begun for corporate debt monsters

When investment bankers agreed in January to underwrite the leveraged buy-out of Citrix, a software company, by a group of private-equity firms, returns on safe assets like government bonds were piffling. Yield-hungry investors were desperate to get their hands on any meaningful return, which the $16.5bn Citrix deal promised. Lenders including Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs were happy to dole out $15bn to finance the transaction. Inflation was transitory, central bankers insisted. Russia hadn’t invaded Ukraine, energy markets were placid and the world’s economies were growing.

Nine months later the banks tried to offload the debt in a market gripped not by

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