Once-troubled lender CIT returns to the market

People walk by the CIT Group headquarters in New York City.

Jeremy Hobson: To the world of bailed out companies now. The lender CIT -- which finances small and medium sized companies -- may be making a comeback. Remember that it filed for bankruptcy in 2009 even after it got government money. And this week CIT raised $2 billion from bond investors.

Our New York bureau chief Heidi Moore reports.


Heidi Moore: Don't call it a happy ending yet, but maybe it's a happy middle: This week, CIT sold bonds for the first time since its bankruptcy. They were junk bonds, but investors seem to believe CIT will improve its credit ratings and its profits, so says Tom Ferguson, a bond analyst with KDP Research.

Tom Ferguson: That CIT can go the market and relatively easily raise $2 billion, it says something about the optimism investors hold in terms of CIT's ability to perform.

Ferguson gives credit to CIT's new chief executive, John Thain, who once led the New York Stock Exchange and Merrill Lynch. CIT's comeback could be good news for small- and medium-size companies that have found it hard to borrow since the financial crisis.

Ferguson: I think the past three or four years have been so tough on so many banks that it's created a vacuum that CIT can and should fill.

CIT's new bonds will lower the company's debt burden, which means more money for it to lend to those cash-strapped companies.

In New York, I'm Heidi Moore for Marketplace.

About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.

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