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Corporate America keeps piling on the debt

There has been lots of talk about how corporate America is sitting on record piles of cash. Well, it’s also got a bunch of debt down there.

The volume of investment-grade corporate debt for U.S. issuers now stands at $100.1 billion, according to new data from Thomson Reuters. That represents a 41% increase in monthly volume from last month, and represents the highest monthly level for issuance since May 2008.

NBC Universal boosted the September numbers, with a $5.1 billion offering. That ranks as the year’s third-largest issuance. Microsoft also helped out with a $4.7 billion deal.

Kraft remains atop the 2010 leaderboard, thanks to its $9.4 billion issuance back in February.

Year-over-year, financials have seen the largest percentage increase (up 67% to $166 billion), while telecom has taken the biggest tumble (down 61% to $12 billion).

JPMorgan ranks as the top underwriter of U.S. investment-grade debt in 2010, followed by BoA Merrill Lynch and Citi.