I’m amazed at the Verizon mega bond deal. $50 billion gets raised on incredibly easy terms. Folks, this is acquisition debt; it’s junk dressed up. And today we learn that a huge chunk of the paper is ending up in retail accounts (Link).
The “success” of the Verizon bond offering can be laid squarely on the Fed. I wonder what Bernanke and Co. are thinking about this. About half of the duration weighted QE for the past month went out the door to fund this deal. The folks who pull the levers at the Fed are probably delighted, after all, Wall Street raked in a half billion dollars in fees as a result of the Fed’s efforts.
I must admit that my bias on the deal is tainted by personal experience. I’m a big VZ customer. Several hundred bucks goes out of my pockets into theirs every month. I would be okay with that if VZ delivered the services that I need, but they don’t. Three days ago one of my routers blew up. Not a big deal, all you need to do is call customer service and get a new one; right? It took three days and eight hours on the phone to achieve what should have been a simple fix. I did finally break the Chinese wall that VZ has set up between its customers and the service department. I ended up speaking with a nice guy who was sympathetic with my frustration. The poor fellow was only able to help me with half of my problems. This result was not his fault. I think Verizon has spent billions of dollars designing its systems with the sole objective of keeping customers on hold.
I asked the customer rep to make sure that the conversation was taped, and then I sent my message to who ever might be listening. I went on a rant. I’m the first to admit that I was mad (and a bit irrational), but I had to say something about what a miserable experience I had, and how much I hate VZ. The following audio is not me, but it might just as well have been. I wonder how many calls like this VZ gets every day. Have a listen if you need a laugh this morning, but there is really nothing funny about this: