Using Veritas to Construct the "Per…

29-04-2017 Hits:82127 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Using Veritas to Construct the "Perfect" Digital Investment Portfolio" & How to Value "Hard to Value" tokens, Pt 1

The golden grail of investing is to find that investable asset that provides the greatest reward with the least risk. Alas, despite how commonsensical that precept seems to be, many...

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The Veritas 2017 Token Offering Summary …

15-04-2017 Hits:77755 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Veritas 2017 Token Offering Summary Available For Download and Sharing

The Veritas Offering Summary is now available for download, which packs all the information about Veritas in a single page. A step by step guide to purchasing Veritas can be downloaded here.

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What Happens When the Fund Fee Fight Hit…

10-04-2017 Hits:77323 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What Happens When the Fund Fee Fight Hits the Blockchain

A hedge fund recently made news by securitizing its LP units as Ethereum-based tokens and selling them as tradeable (thereby liquid) assets. This brings technology to the VC industry that...

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Veritaseum: The ICO That's Ushering in t…

07-04-2017 Hits:82072 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Veritaseum: The ICO That's Ushering in the Era of P2P Capital Markets

Veritaseum is in the process of building peer-to-peer capital markets that enable financial and value market participants to deal directly with each other on a counterparty risk-free basis in lieu...

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This Is Ground Zero for the 2017 Veritas…

03-04-2017 Hits:78663 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

This Is Ground Zero for the 2017 Veritas Offering. Are You Ready to Get Your Key to the P2P Capital Markets?

This is the link to the Veritas Crowdsale landing page. Here is where you will be able to buy the Veritas ICO when it is launched in mid-April. Below, please...

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What is the Value Proposition For Verita…

01-04-2017 Hits:80955 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What is the Value Proposition For Veritas, Veritaseum's Software Token?

 A YouTube commenter asked a very good question that we will like to take some time to answer. The question was, verbatim: I've watched your video and gone through the slides. The exchange...

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This Real Estate Bubble, Like Some Relat…

28-03-2017 Hits:47836 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

This Real Estate Bubble, Like Some Relationships, Is Complicated...

CNBC reports US home prices rise 5.9 percent to 31-month high in January according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller. This puts the 20 city index close to an all time high, including...

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Bloomberg Chimes In With My Warnings As …

28-03-2017 Hits:79666 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Bloomberg Chimes In With My Warnings As Landlords Offer First Time Ever Concessions to Retail Renters

Over the last quarter I've been warning about the significant weakness in retailers and the retail real estate that most occupy (links supplied below). Now, Bloomberg reports: Manhattan Landlords Are Offering...

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Our Apple Analysis This Week - This Comp…

27-03-2017 Hits:79186 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Our Apple Analysis This Week - This Company Is Not What Most Think It IS

We will releasing our Apple forensic analysis and valuation this week for subscribers (click here to subscribe - lowest tier is the same as a Netflix subscription). As can be...

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The Country's First Newly Elected Lame D…

27-03-2017 Hits:79736 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Country's First Newly Elected Lame Duck President Will Cause Massive Reversal Of Speculative Gains

Note: Subscribers should reference  the paywall material here for stocks that should give a good risk/reward scenario for bearish trades. The Trump administration's legislative outlook is effectively a political desert, with...

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Sears Finally Throws In The Towel Exactl…

22-03-2017 Hits:84715 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Sears Finally Throws In The Towel Exactly When I Predicted "has ‘substantial doubt’ about its future"

My prediction of Sears collapsing once interest rates started ticking upwards was absolutely on point.

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The Transformation of Television in Amer…

21-03-2017 Hits:81662 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Transformation of Television in America and Worldwide

TV has changed more in the past 10 years than it has since it's inception nearly 100 years ago This change is profound, and the primary benefactors look and act...

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As illustrated in my last post, Goldman Sachs has upgraded the US REIT sector, an action that was obvious to those who know that Wall Street analyst departments are basically marketing arms for their broking, trading and underwriting arms. Tyler at ZeroHedge saw it coming months in advance (see Is Goldman Preparing To Upgrade The REIT Sector?) and the writing on the wall had already cured as they hawked their first CMBS offering in quite some time (see Reggie Middleton Personally Contragulates Goldman, but Questions How Much More Can Be Pulled Off).

We all know what's next. The products that they are hawking to finance these ailing companies must have their paths paved by glorious upgrades and buy recommendations - damn be the facts and the obvious observations (which you will definitely get from me). Many of these actions can easily be seen as a REIT pump and dump scheme by Wall Street - "Here's a Big Company Bailout by the Taxpayer That Even the Taxpayer's Missed!." I have already released independent and unbiased subscription research on Taubman (TCO Report - Professional, TCO Report - Retail), whom Goldman Sachs has issued a buy recommendation on. I am also researching the CMBS that contain the properties from the REITs that I am analyzing (part and parcel of the analysis is an independent review of the property portfolio) and will be creating reports on the actual performance of assets behind the CMBS. You know, the type of work that the rating agencies should have done before they stamped these things with that AAA market, yet you know they never bothered to perform.

Now its time to take a historical look as on of those Goldman Sachs MBS products that were hawked as AAA, and then I will provide excerpts from the empirical research I have performed on a state-by-state basis on the default, loss and recovery rates of the type of mortgages that back these MBS. For the uninitiated, you will be appalled.  The model and data behind the loan losses and defaults will be available for download at the end of this post to professional subscribers to do with as they may.

And now, a very insightful and hard hitting (may I even dare to say uncharacteristically so from the mainstream media) article from CNN:

 Junk mortgages: It just gets worse

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Back two years ago when the mortgage meltdown was heating up, we wrote an article called "Junk Mortgages Under the Microscope" dissecting a particularly wretched mortgage-backed securities issue peddled by Goldman Sachs.

We wanted to show how these complex securities really worked and how Moody's and S&P, the rating agencies, aided and abetted the process by giving two-thirds of an issue backed by ultra-risky second mortgages the same safety rating they gave to U.S. Treasury securities.

We thought this was a cautionary tale -- but it's turned into a horror story. All the tranches of this issue, GSAMP-2006 S3, that were originally rated below AAA have defaulted. Two of the three original AAA -rated tranches (French for "slices") are facing losses of about 90%, and even the "super senior," safer-than-mere-AAA slice is facing losses of 25%. How could this happen? And what lessons can we take away from it?

Let's revisit the way this security was put together, and how and why it fell apart. And for the first time, we can even estimate the value -- low -- of the mortgages backing it, thanks to a new service called ABSNet Loan HomeVal.

Our tale begins in April 2006, when Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) sold $494 million of securities to institutional investors seeking yields somewhat above those that were available on U.S. Treasuries or high-rated corporate bonds.

It was an especially hinky offering, because it was backed by second mortgages rather than by traditional first mortgages. A first mortgage rarely becomes completely worthless, because a house is usually worth something.

But often all it takes is a decline of 20% in a home's value to wipe out a second mortgage, which is typically piled on top of an 80% first mortgage. In our case, borrowers' stated equity in their homes averaged less than 1% -- 0.71%, to be precise. Even that was doubtless overstated because a majority of the mortgages were low-documentation and no-documentation.

Despite these problems, the formulas used by Moody's and S&P allowed Goldman to market the top three slices of the security -- cleverly called A-1, A-2 and A- 3 -- as AAA rated. That meant they were supposedly as safe as U.S. Treasury securities.

But of course they weren't. More than a third of the loans were on homes in California, then a superhot market, now a frigid one. Defaults and rating downgrades began almost immediately. In July 2008, the last piece of the issue originally rated below AAA defaulted -- it stopped making interest payments. Now every month's report by the issue's trustee, Deutsche Bank, shows that the old AAAs -- now rated D by S&P and Ca by Moody's -- continue to rot out.

As of Oct. 26, date of the most recent available trustee's report, only $79.6 million of mortgages were left, supporting $159.9 million of bonds. In other words, each dollar of bonds had a claim on less than 50¢ of mortgages.

But even worse, those mortgages aren't worth anything like their $79.6 million of face value, according to ABSNet Loan HomeVal. ABSNet, unveiled in October, combines a database from Lewtan Technologies of Waltham, Mass., that has a list of every mortgage underlying every mortgage-backed issue, with data from Collateral Analytics of Honolulu, which tracks individual home values. It gives you a snapshot of the value of the collateral backing a mortgage security.

As of Sept. 26 -- a slightly different date from what we're using above -- ABSNet valued the remaining mortgages in our issue at a tad above 20% their face value. Now, watch this math. If the mortgages are worth 20% of their face value and each dollar of mortgages supports more than $2 of bonds, it means that the remaining bonds are worth maybe 10% of face value.

If all the originally AAA -rated bonds were the same, they'd all be facing losses of 90% or so in value. However, they weren't the same. The A-1 "super senior" tranche was entitled to get all the principal payments from all the borrowers until it was paid off in full. Then A-2 and A-3 would share the repayments, then repayments would move down to the lower-rated issues.

But under the security's rules, once the M-1 tranche -- the highest-rated piece of the issue other than the A tranches -- defaulted in July 2008, all the A's began sharing in the repayments. The result is that only about 28% of the original A-1 "super seniors" are outstanding, compared with more than 98% of A-2 and A-3. If you apply a 90% haircut, the losses work out to about 25% for the "super seniors," and about 90% for A-2 and A-3.

This was an especially bad issue, which we picked (on advice of some bond mavens who aren't competitors of Goldman Sachs) precisely because it was so awful. According to Bloomberg LP, recent trades in the A's were at less than 7% of face value. So the market is saying the losses are even greater than our estimates.

Goldman and Moody's declined to discuss this security. S&P told us that it had toughened its standards in 2005 and had discontinued rating second-mortgage securities in 2008. "Had we anticipated fully the severity of the declines in these markets at the time we issued our original ratings, many of those ratings would have been different," a spokesman said.

Now to the investment lessons: The first is, Don't put your faith in rating agencies, even though some branches of the federal government, including the Federal Reserve, use ratings to determine whether certain securities qualify as collateral under federal loan programs to financial institutions.

Our problem is that if things change for the worse after the original rating comes out, the agencies' response is, "Oops, sorry about that," and they revise the ratings down after you've already taken a hit. When lawsuits arrive, the agencies say all they did was issue an opinion that's protected under the First Amendment, therefore they're not liable.

The second lesson is, No matter how fancy the name is on the offering statement -- Goldman Sachs, the calumny being heaped on it lately notwithstanding, is still Wall Street's alpha outfit -- you're on your own if the issue heads south.

The final lesson is, Beware of the dangers of bottom fishing. It would have been tempting to buy this security when the original AAA paper traded down to the low two-digits -- but any buyer that did that is sitting on big losses.

Just as things often rise further than you think they will and stay there longer, they can also fall further than you think and keep on falling. Remember that when someone tells you that something is so cheap that it has nowhere to go but up.

 Mortgage data download link (subscribers)

 2nd lien mortgage stats and observations

 Next up, more in Macerich: the next GGP!