The stockpile of corporate bonds with below-zero yields is on the rise. Blame financial repression, “Japanification,” or the hangover from relentless monetary stimulus.

Whatever your worldview, the frenetic global bond rally spurred by recession angst has pushed the market back to December 2017 levels—when the European Central Bank (ECB) was fast accumulating tens of billions of company debt, fueling a yield famine in its wake.

At 230 billion euros ($259 billion), some 16 percent of obligations now guarantee losses if held to maturity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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