A buyout boom fueled by easy money and a looming hike in the capital-gains tax is sweeping Wall Street deal making to highs not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis.

Companies have issued $120 billion of “leveraged loans” this year through Sept. 23 to finance corporate buyouts by private-equity firms—just shy of the $124 billion record for the first nine months of the year set in 2007, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence’s LCD.

 

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