New depths in equity value

The market is plumbing new depths in value, at least depths that are new in the 22 years I've been in the markets. I would be interested if any readers can tell me the last time the dividend yield on GE stock exceeded the yield on GE bonds. It does now. After the market's recent pummeling, GE shares carry a dividend yield of 7.70% while GE Capital senior notes due in June, 2014 have a yield to maturity of 6.04%.

I guess that's what happens when you combine the "perfect storm" of

  1. a global credit squeeze,
  2. a firm with a lot of debt maturing in the next five years , and
  3. a global recession likely to pressure the earnings of industrial and financial conglomerates.

Still, we are talking about the stock of triple A-rated General Electric with a dividend yield that rivals the yield to maturity on notes issued by single A-rated financials. Something doesn't add up. This is getting to be scary cheap.