Only in 2015 did Wall Street price just one investment grade corporate bond deal beyond those weeks, according to Dealogic data, which tracks financial market data back to 1995.
There's another disappointing trend in Dealogic's data: To date, there hasn't been a single week in 2016 where there were 10 pricings of corporate investment-grade issuance. That makes seven consecutive weeks where the bond market couldn't muster the might to take on 10 or more investment-grade bond deals—the first time that has happened since late 2008.
This week's output serves as a reminder of how far Wall Street's confidence has fallen as the Federal Reserve ponders the possibility of negative interest rates, less than two months after deciding to hike them for the first time in nearly a decade.
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While the data are stark, it's something the market may have seen coming.
There's good reason for big corporates to eschew potential bond deals: they can potentially get a better rate by waiting out the Fed. High-yield deals have been almost completely sidelined in the face of growing market turmoil. The Manitowoc Company priced last week's lone high-yield (or junk) deal, valued at $260 million, on Monday.
"Usually corporate bond issuance picks up as people expect rates to rise," said Erik Oja, banking analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
And it looks as if the expectations that rates will rise are right now lower than they've ever been in the last 20 years, based on what Dealogic data show.