Hits: 7576

A trader has informed me of the following ticker: TNSUTL - This bond apparently was issued in Dec of 2006 --- 12/11/2006 --- at an issue price of 109.434. The ratings are roughly AA-. I am told that these bonds carry the underlying rating of Goldman Sachs, as they are an obligation of J Aron, a GS sub.

According to my source, the ten year treasury in Dec 2006 was around 4.70% --- now it is 3.58%. These muni bonds are now trading at around $93 --- and apparently they have been trading at significant volume. 

Goldman's balance sheet expanded by 300% from 2003 to 2007 --- and most of the other I banks increased thier balance sheets substantially as well.

It is worth noting that this muni is not a distressed mortgage asset --- nor leveraged loan --- nor CRE --- it is probably pretty typical of a structured finance security of that era --- and it is down in price now by 16 POINTS!

That is how wide and illiquid the market still is despite all of the Fed's efforts. Now, leverage this by 25 to 35 times and I'm sure it is indicative of the stress that the IB balance sheets are under. They booked scores of assets at whatever yield, and now the values of all of those bubbly inflated assets --- even the relatively good stuff like this, are materially lower. The deals are about 1 billion each, and word is GS did $3B for this issuer.