China's Central Bank Eliminates Margin T…

19-01-2017 Hits:515 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

China's Central Bank Eliminates Margin Trading of Bitcoin

There have been rumors that the Chinese Central Bank (PBoC - People's Bank of China) would limit or eliminate margin trading in Bitcoin. It is now official, sort of...

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Is Donald Trump Truly Successful or Born…

18-01-2017 Hits:797 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Is Donald Trump Truly Successful or Born With A Silver Spoon? An Analysis

In social media and mainstream media, I often hear Donald Trump quoted (by himself, and others) as an extremely successful, self-made man. As an entrepreneur for nearly all of my...

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As I Promised, EU Is Colliding Into Prac…

17-01-2017 Hits:1105 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

As I Promised, EU Is Colliding Into Practical Confines of NIRP, Bank Hemorrhaging Up Next

Nearly a year ago, I warned subscribers of consequences stemming from the ECB's negative interest rate program. Here's an exceprt from our resarch report titled European Banking Macro Issues for March...

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Is Bitcoin Too Risky? Whenever the Bitco…

12-01-2017 Hits:1765 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Is Bitcoin Too Risky? Whenever the Bitcoin is Mentioned in Financial Pop Media, Ignorance Ensues

I hate to be the one to break bad news to you, but most of the pop media/mainstream media financial pundits that I hear and see opine on bitcoin have...

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What Happens When Rates Rise While the S…

10-01-2017 Hits:1514 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What Happens When Rates Rise While the S&P 500 Relies on Cheap Credit To Boost EPS?

So, the stock market, bond market and real estate markets are all at all-time highs. Everything is Awesome! You know better than that. You see, when the bond market wakes...

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Debt Encumbered Oil, Sovereign Soil, Toi…

10-01-2017 Hits:746 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Debt Encumbered Oil, Sovereign Soil, Toil & Trouble: Can't You Hear Seems Cracking in the OPEC Empire?

@WSJ reports Libya Ramping Up Oil Production, Threatening OPEC (supposed) Plans to lift global oil place by artificially limiting supply. This would be in violation of federal antii-trust laws in the...

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Ten Years Since BoomBustBlog Was 1st Pub…

09-01-2017 Hits:1069 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Ten Years Since BoomBustBlog Was 1st Published & That Initial Research Still Relevant Today

We have looked into insurance companies' performance last month in regards to our bearish real estate thesis. A small comederie of companies are suffering losses and/or declining profits as we've exected....

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The Macro Truth About The Big Bitcoin Po…

07-01-2017 Hits:1241 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Bitcoin has dropped precipitously, and as is usual, we have the cacophony of instant digital currency pundits cackling about as if they had a clue. This is the inaugural post...

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To Bust or Not To Bust: Are We In A Real…

04-01-2017 Hits:912 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

To Bust or Not To Bust: Are We In A Real Estate Bubble?

Banks are showing thin NIM, yet many of the big banks are able to boast stable if not slightly improving credit metrics. This doesn’t make sense considering the explosive growth...

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What Happens To Real Asset Lending Banks…

03-01-2017 Hits:767 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What Happens To Real Asset Lending Banks When the Real Funding Rate Appears? We're About to Find Out

During the financial crisis of 2008, money market funds who subjectively agreed to hold their NAV (net asset value) unit prices at $1 “broke the buck”. That is, the unit...

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Stress Test on Banks’ Earnings Facing th…

30-06-2014 Hits:44878 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Stress Test on Banks’ Earnings Facing the Veritaseum UltraCoin Value Transaction Platform

My last post on the topic of disintermediation during a paradigm shift was Wall Street Should Be First To Invest In Reggie Middleton's UltraCoin, Much Of It Won't Be Here In...

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Introducing the "Unbreakable Promis…

09-06-2014 Hits:39643 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Introducing the "Unbreakable Promise" As a Method Increasing Efficiencies and Decreasing Risk

Continuing on the margin compression theme originally laid out in Margin Compression Is Coming in the Payment Processing Space As $100 Million Pours Into Startups, I illustrate mathematically how the bit...

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This is part one of a two part response to comments and questions on the recent events concerning the Ambac and MBIA. The second part will be a forensic marking to market of Ambac's portfolio based upon the recent E*Trade sale. Required reading for this article includes:
  1. A Super Scary Halloween Tale of 104 Basis Points Pt I & II, by Reggie Middleton.
  2. Ambac is Effectively Insolvent & Will See More than $8 Billion of Losses with Just a $2.26 Billion Market Cap
  3. Follow up to the Ambac Analysis
  4. Monolines swoon, CDOs go boom & I really wonder why the ratings agencies are given any credibility
  5. Bill Ackman of Pershing Square - How to save the Monolines

Note: this came directly from one of my analysts, who seems to have been infected by my smart ass writing style :-)

MBIA � The company mentioned that "fair value" of their portfolio dropped by $850 million in the one month between September 30 and October 30, 2007. That speaks volumes. As far as equity infusion is concerned, MBIA is merely replacing the capital they have already lost. This may sound simplistic, but this is how it is. The caveat is, they are replacing it by diluting their current shareholders. Thus, those who did not do the math have bid the share price up, instead of down. Given the significant amount of exposure that the company has (MBIA has about $84 billion in residential ABS and CDO exposure), $1 billion of capital infusion at this point may not be sufficient; though it may keep off the immediate rating downgrade concern. The company has also mentioned that they�re setting aside $800 million to cover estimated losses on residential mortgage-backed securities in the fourth quarter. This will further impact its bottom line.

Regarding Warburg�s investment, although there is not much data available at this point to comment on the additional $500 million commitment based on the current share price or the approximate market price in the first quarter, I read an analyst quoting that based on an option-pricing model, the value of Warburg's warrants range from $3.14 to $6.55 a share which means that Warburg effectively paid less than $28 a share for the stock based on a conservative valuation of the warrants, or as low as $24.45 based on more aggressive estimates (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119730169419019425.html?mod=yahoo_hs&ru=yahoo). Yet, again, the mathematically challenged bid the price up and above what Warburg was willing to pay.

When it comes to rating agencies �review�, I liked what Jonathan Weil said a couple of days back: If MBIA Is AAA, Britney Spears is Snow White J (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aFwZKa2jzPfQ). Last week, credit- default swaps tied to MBIA Insurance Corp.'s bonds were 193 basis points, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In other words, it cost about $193,000 to buy a contract protecting $10 million of bonds from default for five years. That implies about a 15% probability of default - for a company rated AAA. Keep in mind that the US treasuries are a AAA benchmark. Compare and contrast!

However, if MBIA (and other bond insurers such as Ambac, Radian, etc.) are able to raise capital to keep up with the losses, and, as the company talked about reviewing its capital management policies, writing more business and resorting to reinsurance, it is likely that the rating agencies may not downgrade the AAA rating. We still don't think the company will fare well with the potential losses coming down the pike, regardless of the rating agencies say.

2) Ambac � As highlighted in the valuation, we were conservative regarding the defaults in the company�s consumer finance portfolio since our emphasis was more on the Subprime RMBS and the Structured Finance portfolios. The potential losses in Ambac�s auto receivables portfolio, after subordination, ranges from $675 million to $2.5 billion, in different scenarios. In the base case, we estimate default rates in Ambac�s Auto Receivables portfolio as 11% which indicates total losses of $1.3 billion. However, like mentioned in the comment below, potential losses could be significantly more than our estimates. A spreadsheet with a full evaluation of this auto portfolio, losses and loss projections are available for premium subscribers.