Based on market pricing, investors expected a dramatic increase in corporate-bond defaults in 2008 and 2009, but the crisis never came, according to The Economist. The 12-month default rate for U.S. high-yield corporate debt peaked in November, at 11.3%, and has been falling sharply since. "The monetary and fiscal stimulus applied by the authorities worked," The Economist notes. "It staved off a potential collapse of the corporate sector and restored investor confidence."

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