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These Three Banks Are Our Junk Bond Kings

Junk or Jewels? The Lowdown on High-Yield Bonds
Fotopic | Photolibrary | Getty Images

So who is making a fortune out of the junk bond market boom?

My colleague Jeff Cox points out that the market for the "highest-yielding, and by extension lowest-quality bonds" is off to a record start. We're already at $62 billion in new issues, a 16 percent increase from last year and the highest ever for this point in the year. Investors are drunk on junk, as Jeff says.

The banks that are leading the charge are JPMorgan Chase (with a 12.7 percent market share), Citigroup (10 percent) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (9.7 percent), according to a note from dealogic.com.

The exact fees these banks are getting for running these bond deals are hush-hush secrets. But based on past fee levels, the banks probably made around 1.5 percent of these deals. So JPMorgan's take is probably $122 million, Citigroup's is $96 million, and Bank of America's is probably around $93 million.

These banks aren't exactly drunk on junk. But they're getting fat off of it.

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