Thursday, 19 June 2008 01:00

Blogger will work for food

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As I have mentioned before, I am looking
for avenues to syndicate the content of my blog. I know I am biased, but I
think this blog delivers top notch, timely and unique content. It being my
blog, I am probably not the most objective judge… Many of you came to this blog
from Seeking Alpha,
where I was a contributor. It appears as if I have done something to piss them
off, for they have not ran any articles lately and have not returned my emails.
I’m pretty sure the reason is my complaining about the changing of the content
of my articles, something that I cannot tolerate. The editors that I dealt with
were always very professional and polite though, and I would like to make that
clear. Nevertheless, being forced to gather my own eyeballs may have been the
best thing that has happened to this blog. Let me tell you why…

The possible offense (I am not quite
sure why I am not getting return emails or articles ran) probably came from my
linking to a very interesting discussion on Seeking Alpha’s business model,
editorial practices (of which I complained in the actual linking), and
blogonomics in general. You can read my comment here
(you may have to scroll up a bit to see it). The actual discourse that I linked
to is here,
and stems from a little beef that Barry Ritholz, the popular blogger, analysts
and CNBC contributor had with SA over some of the exact same issued that I had.
I recommend those interested in blogonomics give it a glance. Keep in mind that
I
image001.png

(being the stuck up, conceited bastard that I am) truly believe that a steady
stream of buy side quality, forensic research is a rarity on the web, hence I
often lapse into a state of actually believing this blog’s content has some
value. The argument made by SA’s founder about the blogger’s incremental effort
in content redistribution is a little murky, but I will get into that at a late
time. My content easily costs me into the six digits to produce, thus it is not
cheap. Although there are some very good blogs out there, especially in the economics
research and opinion space, ex. Ritholz’s is one, as well as Calculated Risk
and Mish (see my blog
roll
), I think I am the only one that performs thorough buy-side forensic analysis
from a macro investor’s perspective - at least the only one that does it for
free.

Seeking Alpha does seem to expose
certain popular writers with a significant amount of exposure, and their coup d’etat
and primary value driver is the deal that they inked with Yahoo Finance to have
their blog’s content carried on Yahoo’s ticker news feeds, which are very heavily
used. Now, being the conceited bastard that I am, I wondered, “If they don’t
want my stuff, and I think my stuff is worth wanting, why don’t I just move to
have my stuff carried directly by the major news feeds and outlets?”. Damn,
could you imagine if Yahoo, Reuters or Bloomberg carried analysis as hard hitting,
thorough and extensive as “
GGP
and the type of investigative analysis you will not get from your brokerage
house” on their newswires?

``There's nothing you can glean from
them that's going to make you any money,'' said Jack
Ablin
, who oversees $62 billion as chief investment officer at Harris
Private Bank in Chicago. ``Right now `Wall Street' and `unique research' is an
oxymoron. Unless they're able to do some kind of very unique research, I don't
see any of them coming up with an edge.''

I’m thinking that this could literally
transform financial news and reporting, as well as give the traditional rags
the much needed shot in the arm they’ve been craving every since the Web
started devouring their margins and their business models. Now, how do I get
these guys’ attention? Well, I’ve put together a little compilation of popular
(but far from complete) articles, posts and analyses from the blog, and have
date stamped them along with the company that they are referencing. I am not
going to publish performance figures, but you guys (and girls) can figure it
out for yourselves. The factor for determining the results of a short sale is
about -1.9x the change in price. If any of you know one of the major media
publications with a finance interest, use the mail or recommend functions of
the blog to forward them a copy of this article. Of course, I would appreciate any
feedback or comments that my readers have as well.

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A snapshot of the BoomBustBlog
commentary
.

Blog post date

Companies negatively Blogged

Price on Blog Date

As of 6/18/2008

% change

Commentary
& Analysis

Popular
Articles

As I see it, 32 commercial banks and thrifts may
see the feces hit the fan blades

Friday, 23 May 2008 | Reggie Middleton

I
have identified 32 banks that are $@%%. It's really as simple as that. I
have been publishing the research that I used to build my
investment thesis. Thus far we...
+ Full Story

The Riskiest Bank on the Street

Monday, 11 February 2008 | Reggie Middleton

Key
highlights of my research on the "Riskiest Investment Bank on the
Street": The Riskiest Bank on Wall Street – Morgan Stanley has US$74
billion of Level 3 assets, over 200% of its...
+ Full Story

More good stuff...

·
The Commercial Real
Estate Crash Cometh, and I know who is leading the way!

·
Doo-Doo bank drill down,
part 1 - Wells Fargo

·
As was warned in this
blog, the S&P downgrade of a monoline insurer reverberated losses
through c

·
Reggie Middleton on the
Street's Riskiest Bank - Update

·
Banks, Brokers, &
Bullsh1+ part 1

·
The first of my
regional bank shorts to be posted to the blog...

·
Lennar Insolvent: Enron
redux???

·
Banks, Brokers, &
Bullsh1+ part 2

·
I know who's holding
the $119 billion dollar bag!

·
Is this the Breaking of
the Bear?

·
The worst is behind us,
unless massive bank failure is considered a bad thing

·
The Next Shoe to Drop:
Credit Default Swaps (CDS) and Counterparty Risk - Beware what lies
beneath!

·
Reggie Middleton on the
Asset Securitization Crisis - Part I

·
Voodoo, Zombies, Lennar�s Off Balance Sheet Accounting and
Other Things o
f Mystery & Myth

·
A Super Scary Halloween
Tale of 104 Basis Points Pt I & II, by Reggie Middleton

·
Bear Stearns conspiracy
theories

·
GGP part 8 - The Final
Anaysis: fire sale of prime properties

·
More on the banking backdrop,
they have never had so many loans

1-Sep-07

len

$28.37

$15.91

(43.92%)

Voodoo, Zombies, Lennar�s Off Balance Sheet Accounting and Other
Things o
f Mystery & Myth

hov

$12.60

$6.40

(49.21%)

Credibility is the Key to
Success for a CEO – Hovnanian has Lost that Key: A letter to Mr. Hovnanian

phm

$16.91

$11.42

(32.47%)

Commentary

ctx

$29.08

$15.52

(46.63%)

Thoughts on the US Publicly
Traded Homebuilders,
Centex and Beazer show
evidence of credit crunch dismantling their business models,
and The Performance of
Centex's Mortgage Originations, or CountryWide Redux, pt III

dhom

$2.08

$0.55

(73.56%)

Commentary

1-Sep-07

bzh

$11.19

$5.45

(51.30%)

Commentary

rdn

$18.11

$2.78

(84.65%)

Commentary

mtg

$30.34

$10.14

(66.58%)

Commentary

1-Sep-07

dhi

$15.23

$12.26

(19.50%)

Commentary

tol

$21.84

$20.39

(6.64%)

Commentary

bsc

$113.84

$9.33

(91.80%)

Is this the Breaking of
the Bear?

cfc

$19.59

$4.75

(75.75%)

Yeah, Countrywide is
pretty bad, but it ain’t the only one at the subprime party… Comparing
Countryw

3-Sep-07

mbi

$61.58

$6.00

(90.26%)

A Super Scary Halloween
Tale of 104 Basis Points Pt I & II, by Reggie Middleton

abk

$64.15

$2.10

(96.73%)

Ambac is Effectively
Insolvent & Will See More than $8 Billion of Losses with Just a $2.26
Billion in Equity

8-Sep-07

wm

$34.06

$6.27

(81.59%)

Yeah, Countrywide is pretty
bad, but it ain’t the only one at the subprime party… Comparing Countryw
and Washington Mutual get hits
hard - you were warned here about this in September!

16-Oct-07

ryl

$23.96

$24.00

0.17%

What does Reggie
Middleton and Ryland's Upper Management have in Common?

8-Jan-08

ggp

$45.75

$38.49

(15.87%)

Extensive: GGP
and the type of research you won’t get from a brokerage

19-Dec-07

ms

$49.79

$39.40

(20.87%)

Reggie Middleton on the
Street's Riskiest Bank - Update

Banks
below are part of the very recent Asset Securitization Crisis Series, click
here for the latest installment

23-May-08

WFC

$27.68

$25.80

(6.79%)

Doo-Doo bank drill down,
part 1 - Wells Fargo

BPOP

$11.22

$8.29

(26.11%)

Doo-Doo
Bank 32 drill down: Part 2 - Popular

STI

$52.99

$37.49

(29.25%)

Doo-Doo
Bank 32 Drill Down - part 3, Sun Trust Bank

KEY

$21.87

$11.28

(48.42%)

The
Deep Doo-Doo 32: Key Corp

SNV

$11.79

$8.85

(24.94%)

MI

$23.08

$17.50

(24.18%)

ASBC

$27.96

$22.09

(20.99%)

FCTR

$30.02

HBAN

$8.99

$5.72

(36.37%)

BBT

$32.73

$25.19

(23.04%)

JPM

$42.32

$39.12

(7.56%)

USB

$32.68

$30.42

(6.92%)

MTB

$87.65

$76.27

(12.98%)

BAC

$33.28

$28.60

(14.06%)

COF

$44.47

$42.74

(3.89%)

NARA

$12.44

$12.32

(0.96%)

SASR

$26.25

$20.33

(22.55%)

15-May-08

PNC

$69.39

$57.93

(16.52%)

The first
of my regional bank shorts to be posted to the blog...

HNBC

$13.26

$12.83

(3.24%)

CVBF

$10.19

$9.46

(7.16%)

GBCI

$19.95

$17.80

(10.78%)

FHN

$9.08

$8.09

(10.90%)

NCC

$5.65

$4.76

(15.75%)

RF

$18.13

$11.94

(34.14%)

29-Nov-07

C

$31.52

$20.47

(35.06%)

WB

$24.40

$17.08

(30.00%)

ZION

$42.81

$32.68

(23.66%)

TCBK

$15.34

$14.77

(3.72%)

FITB

$19.26

$11.09

(42.42%)

SOV

$8.51

$8.62

1.29%

GE

$28.97

$28.61

(1.24%)

GE: The Uber Bank???

According to this Bloomberg article, the boombustblog.com articles more than tripled
the performance of the best performing Wall Street analyst of the past year
,
and soundly out-performed ALL
of the analyst and brokerages house recommendations - most of whom had deeply
negative returns and failed to beat the broad markets. To translate the numbers
from the analyzed banking sector (or any other % of stock price decrease above)
into a short sale result after commissions, multiply by a factor of about -1.9x.
I cover much more than banking stocks, which would have given these results a
much higher risk adjusted return if one were to keep score and run the
calculations, which I am not. Sourced from Bloomberg:

Best
Performances

The analysts who made investors the
most money were Charles
Peabody
of New York-based Portales Partners LLC and Richard
Bove
of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. in Miami, Florida, whose ``sell''
ratings on Merrill, Morgan Stanley, Lehman and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
produced profits of 47 percent and 18 percent, respectively, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg. Citigroup's Colin
Devine
made 4.8 percent by rating Ameriprise Financial Inc., the only
brokerage stock he covers, ``sell'' before moving to ``hold'' in July.

``Ten years ago, the expectation was
that analysts would simply avoid the worst excesses,'' Bove said in an
interview. ``The idea was just to beat the benchmark. Today, analysts have got
to make you money in both up and down markets. You don't have any excuse.'' …

… Bove said other analysts may have
made money-losing recommendations because they based their reports on brokerage
earnings rather than examining risk in credit markets.

Losing Influence

Analysts lost influence after 10
securities firms paid $1.4 billion in 2003 to settle allegations that they used
tainted research to promote investment banking clients. Regulation FD, a
Securities and Exchange Commission rule implemented in 2000, prevents companies
from disclosing information to analysts that they don't tell the public. Merrill
ordered its stock advisers this month to boost ``underperform'' ratings to at
least 20 percent of the stocks they follow. Goldman Sachs had ``sells'' on 15
percent of the companies it covered as of April 1. Analyst ``sell''
recommendations across Wall Street are down from 11.1 percent in May 2003,
according to Bloomberg data.

``There's nothing you can glean from
them that's going to make you any money,'' said Jack
Ablin
, who oversees $62 billion as chief investment officer at Harris
Private Bank in Chicago. ``Right now `Wall Street' and `unique research' is an
oxymoron. Unless they're able to do some kind of very unique research, I don't
see any of them coming up with an edge.''

Average total returns for investors who
followed the recommendations of analysts for stocks in the AMEX Securities Broker/Dealer
Index, measured from June 3, 2007, through June 3, 2008. Returns factored for
investors who bought on ``buy'' ratings, sold on ``hold'' and sold short on
``sell.'' Zero percent returns reflect analysts rating stocks ``hold'' for the designated
period.

image001_copy.png

Click to enlarge
Last modified on Thursday, 19 June 2008 01:00

23 comments

  • Comment Link Marc Authier Tuesday, 01 July 2008 06:57 posted by Marc Authier

    That's why GE is crashing today. :D Time to bye bye GE.

    Report
  • Comment Link a b Monday, 23 June 2008 03:17 posted by a b

    Referring to GE.

    Report
  • Comment Link a b Monday, 23 June 2008 03:16 posted by a b

    Today's Seeking Alpha headline: "With [last outstanding analyst] Steve Tusa finally capitulating on the stock, the time to buy may be now." No explanation at all, and the NYT article linked is all negative. Borderline criminal. Seeking Abrain.

    Report
  • Comment Link a b Sunday, 22 June 2008 16:17 posted by a b

    Sorry what does the 1.9x refer to? I'm still new to the game.

    Report
  • Comment Link Marc Authier Saturday, 21 June 2008 20:06 posted by Marc Authier

    Reggie is like Amos. Your blog is great Reggie. Wouln't mind paying a couple of shekels for your service.

    Report
  • Comment Link a b Saturday, 21 June 2008 15:20 posted by a b

    Some Jewish tradition holds that Jeremiah was stoned to death by fellow Jews in exile after his long career of prophesying disaster had come true. He continued to preach against corruption even as an old man. Hopefully society has learned that bullsh#t detection is sometimes more valuable than Marketing and should be compensated accordingly. Truth is truth whether written on "subway walls and tenement halls" or a fancy google site. In the Hollywood version, the smart Jews who paid attention and saved fortunes on his accurate predictions save Jeremiah and make him the oracle of the revival. Looking forward to the day of some common sense long predictions.

    Report
  • Comment Link Aaron Krowne Saturday, 21 June 2008 14:30 posted by Aaron Krowne

    Reggie,

    You know we support your work, and I hope bankimplode.com can do more to get it out there than we have done so far (technical factors notwithstanding), but my main question is: why would the mainstream pubs want to carry "sell" recommendations? That's like anathema and heresy rolled up in one to them.

    Report
  • Comment Link a b Thursday, 19 June 2008 22:54 posted by a b

    All I needed to hear. I'll place my bets tonight, after a modicum of my own research.
    Could you or someone recommend a primer on analyzing SEC filings for someone with math skill but very limited exposure to finance or accounting. Much apreciated.

    Report
  • Comment Link Reggie Middleton Thursday, 19 June 2008 21:18 posted by Reggie Middleton

    @ squashnut,
    I cannot express performance measures publicly, but I believe most on the blog can ascertain the potential alpha generated if I were to be explicit.

    As for Soverign and Ryland, patience is a virtue. I haven't blogged directly on Sovereign but I did publish them on a list of banks with big problems. Ryland is similar to GGP in that the stock is floating artificially high. This is an occupation which requires patience. There are times that I will be forced to hold a bearish position for over a year to see it through. Look at Ackman after shorting the monolines for over 5 years.

    Report
  • Comment Link Reggie Middleton Thursday, 19 June 2008 21:12 posted by Reggie Middleton

    Thanks for the encouraging words, all. I do plan to bring my research to a wider audience and there is no need to worry about my forming any undue allegiances. Notice how there are no ads on the site. I dance to the beat of a different drummer.

    Unfortunately, due to the nature of my entrepreneurial pursuits, I cannot sell research directly to retail investors. Lawyers define that as including tip jars (I should ask again though).

    With significantly expanded traffic, I will consider myself duly compensated. As a sneak peak of what I may have in mind, I think it is time for smaller entrepreneurial entities to take up the slack formed by banking entities that have been caught overleveraged in a popped bubble. Stay tuned, things will start to get very exciting around here.

    @ Howxotk:
    For one, I know I'm cuter than those guys you mentioned.;D Secondly, those stars don't mean much to me. On a risk adjusted reward basis, I'd love to go up against any analyst on or off the street. They would have to get pretty deep into the triple digit returns just to touch the content on this blog, which is just a sample of what I produce. I have a shoe string budget, but tons of drive and confidence (as you might have guessed by now), not to mention my secret weapon,,,, Common damn sense. I have this uncanny ability of being able to detect bullsh1t and determining if someone is lying. after all of that, guess what??? Even if I were to lose (doubtful), the mere competition should increase the quality of research for all involved. Since I am an investor by profession, and not an analyst, we have slightly different goals, but not so different as to justify the disparity in results.

    In about a year and a half, I will be probably be trying to demonstrate my long asset picking abilities in public (I have always done in privately). We will probably be in a bear market 'til then.

    @ efranco
    There is no nefarious end to the motivation of SA. Their audience is not as analytically inclined as the audience of my blog, and since by content is written for my blog they tend to edit it to fit what they believe to be most amenable to their client base. They make the titles more "Street.com-ish" and try to keep the posts short in length (as opposed to my GGP post). In addition, I purposely keep my blogs format wide to accommodate large charts, tables, and graphs - plus I don't carry ads in my margins, thus my content won't fit in most blogs without significant reworking. My major gripe with them was redirecting links and change the words, thus the meaning of certain phrases and titles.

    Report
  • Comment Link a b Thursday, 19 June 2008 20:55 posted by a b

    To be more accurate you would of course have to compare results to the major and sector indices, which is not to say that accuratey calling general downturns is not a feat in itself.

    The value investor in me is very curious about picks like Ryland and Sovereign. Did you misread those, have they changed their practices ( :D), or do they look even juicier at today's prices!!!

    Thanks as always

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  • Comment Link Douglas Blair Thursday, 19 June 2008 18:21 posted by Douglas Blair

    Hi Reggie,

    Is there any 'common theme' to the types of edits that SA wanted you to make? The answer may have two parts, the first of which I hope you can answer, and the second which I can understand if you don't. The first is merely yes or no -- any pattern you can discern? The second, of course, would be, if yes, than what is it they're trying to modify/expunge?

    Cheers,

    Doug

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  • Comment Link Eugene Franco Thursday, 19 June 2008 18:16 posted by Eugene Franco

    Please don't syndicate, it will attract the miserable fanboy trolls from yahoo message boards and we will have to wade through their nonsense.

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  • Comment Link Jedi unleashed Thursday, 19 June 2008 18:00 posted by Jedi unleashed

    I have been reading your articles for a short while now. Some of the research is top notch and mind blowing. The fact that your quatify your claims with numbers and lot of research is admirable. In my opinion you are 1000+ times better than TV clowns like Cramer who claim to know about 100000+ stocks with out proper research. Please keep up with your blog and i am sure some day you will be noticed like your stock picks albeit
    it might take a while cuz crowd is always the last to catch up.. Cheers..

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  • Comment Link a b Thursday, 19 June 2008 17:28 posted by a b

    Please name a subscription fee. Any time a blogger is beholden to some entity the objectivity suffers. With word of mouth you could grow quickly.

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  • Comment Link Jason Bohmann Thursday, 19 June 2008 16:50 posted by Jason Bohmann

    How can you be proud of yourself with only a 99% accuracy level? I'm sure the street, SA, and all the market pundits would give you the props you deserve if only you'd had got your SOV pick correct.
    As you can tell, I'm kidding. And time will probably prove your correct on the SOV as well. I share your blog with many people because I think you deliver the best information available.

    It's only a day, but speaking of GGP ---- what happened at the close today? Did C come forward and work some more of their magic for the family?

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  • Comment Link Robert Pastor Thursday, 19 June 2008 14:59 posted by Robert Pastor

    The problem is that you are too good at getting to the facts, facts that the banks spend a
    lot of time trying to hide or obfuscate from the investing public. Plus picking on banks
    is always dangerous because they are the Masters of the Universe in their central bank
    form. This is their worst nightmare already and they sure don't need the likes of you making
    sure that everyone understands jsut how bad it is.

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  • Comment Link Todd Lee Thursday, 19 June 2008 12:25 posted by Todd Lee

    What is the goal of syndicating your content?

    SeekingAlpha just dilutes the brand as Mr. Ritholtz has mentioned.

    If you want a steady stream of money from your work, it might be better to just charge to access the content, I know I would pay. (5 bucks a year, I am poor)

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  • Comment Link Kip Coon Thursday, 19 June 2008 11:08 posted by Kip Coon

    Reggie,
    I saw that analyst article. What a joke! Shouldn't it be called the PUNDIT LIST? There are people paying BIG money to LOSE big money. But, hey..... those that give a darn about their hard earned, losing value American Dollar are smart enough to learn how to do it themselves. Example... I retired from Corporate America at 39 yrs old last December. I make more money in the market. I trade options for a living now and with that knowledge AND great research into the companies I want to trade - it makes for a powerful combination. Great research is hard to find - until now. You're site has made my trading easier. One must know why they put money into a company, investment, or trade.
    It's frustrating when you know you can make a difference and it seems like it's near impossible to get your ideas out there. I'm in the same boat with helping others learn how to do what I do. My book is still a work in progress and it's put together like no other book out there. All I can say is, keep on doing what your doing. You are making a huge difference for those already on your site.
    FYI.... With some profits I've made off your banking research, I've been able to donate another my second college scholarship this year. In fact, tomorrow night in Dallas, that check will be handed out.
    Keep on plugging away. Your time will come. If there is anything I can personally do to help, let me know. I've sent your link to some industry folks already and will continue to do so.

    Kip

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  • Comment Link Howard Sevey Thursday, 19 June 2008 11:06 posted by Howard Sevey

    I don't know Reggie, can you compete with this list of analyst?(6/19)

    EPS ACCURACY FOR MS - Trailing Two Fiscal Years and Four Quarters
    Top-Ranked AnalystsMSOverallResearch Reports

    Mayo, Michael
    Deutsche Bank SecuritiesFive Stars

    Schorr, Glenn
    UBSFive StarsFour Stars

    Trone, David
    Fox-Pitt KeltonFour Stars

    Katzke, Susan
    Credit SuisseFour Stars

    Moszkowski, Guy
    Merrill LynchFour StarsFour Stars

    Harte, Jeffery
    Sandler O'Neill & Partners L.P.Four StarsFour Stars

    Worthington, Kenneth
    J.P. MorganFour StarsFour Stars

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