Friday, 23 September 2011 01:00

Trading Tips Update Sep 22nd to 23rd Featured

Below is the latest from Eurocalypse. Before we get to his opinion, let's remember... This time really is different! Einstein has his definition of inssanity, but Middleton says the definition of a cental banker/planner is more and more borrowing & expecting insolvency this time around. Reggie, logging off (for now).

First I (Eurocalypse, the credit trader) must apologize for not updating for a while despite those very volatile markets. I am currently on a business trip in Europe, totally jet lagged, and with a lot of personal stuff to fix.

Well, Reggie has been totally right in his call for the French Bank Run as the French banks have continued to being hit hard, especially BNP, Socgen and Crédit Agricole. Paribas is looking for capital when their stock is at 23 and they denied they needed any

Last updated: September 22, 2011 9:27 am

BNP Paribas in Mideast push for funding

By Patrick Jenkins in Singapore, Alan Beattie in Washington and Sharlene Goff in London


French banks could push Europe “into a full-blown banking crisis” that “renders certain another economic recession,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., wrote in a commentary on the Financial Times’ website.

 “There are all the signs of an institutional run on French banks,” he said. “Europe is on the verge of losing control of orderly solutions to its debt crisis.” Credit markets are pricing the chances of French banks defaulting at levels that indicate a “BB” rating, “which is fundamentally inconsistent with sound banking operations,” El-Erian wrote.

El-Erian said governments and the European Central Bank must work together to inject capital into banks and to protect depositors.

I will not go into details about all the debt crisis, Reggie is doing a wonderful job, and there are plenty of very good articles in the usual places (ZH, FTAlphaville, just to name a few).

However what I find interesting, and which is not difficult to judge for non-Europeans, is that clearly the mindset of people, including politicians has changed here. Reading French mainstream newspaper like Le Monde, les Echos, le Figaro... there is clearly the realization that things cant go on like this and the prospect of a deeper and systemic crisis is real.

For example, the day before, there was a long debate on French television showing the ex-French minister of Industry (under Sarkozy), far-right Marine Le Pen who is anti-immigrant and anti-Euro, socialist Cahuzac whos heading the finance commitee in the House of Representatives, and an economist.

Well the 2 mainstream parties were of course pro-Euro, and for helping Greece, but the 2 others against, and clearly the Socialist and the Sarkozist were not at ease during the debate.

The economist said yesterday on the prime time evening news that there was no other choice than for the French govt to enter in size in the capital of the banks (magnitude 10bn each...). There is no more taboo in the media to talk about these scenarios.

Yesterday, Le Monde's headline was "Zone Euro Peut-on encore éviter la catastrophe" which can be translated as EuroZone, can we still avoid disaster???

Basically everything which was dismissed as fantasy is now gaining credibility with the events unfolding, and one can feel that even governments dont believe their own words or lies, which are perhaps only destined just to calm markets and people, but in reality they feel helpless.

The average French guy grasps that, and believe me they are not very optimistic about the future.

One thing is becoming clear:
The European banks, and the French banks in particular, will be RBSised, with the state the only entity who has the firepower to put money in it. contrarily to 2008 where in France there were just loans (which have been all repaid in full), this time, probably it will be de facto nationalization as the stock is so low, with the dilution effect, if private participation is not enough, the French govt will end up owning 30%-50% or more of the likes of SG BNP CA...There is now public and political pressure from all sides to do that, and the govts wont be as generous as the Dexia deal when they overpaid at the time... the price will be at the current quote, with a discount more likely than a premium paid. However, the market in those stocks should enjoy a huge short term rally (maybe like 50% to 100%)  on the announcement, even if that proves short lived. Even PIIGS would stabilize somewhat as the fear of massive liquidation from the banks subside.

Then, in time, they will merge up the retail banking activities and investment banking activities and try to sell them separately. Good luck with that, with all the new stringent regulation in place, banks will never be able to have so much leverage as before, will fight to earn a dime with govt bonds. Actually it will be "sound" policy (from the new govt imposed management) to buy more govt bonds, even PIIGS if necessary.

At the same time there is a crackdown on bankers, bonuses, and all kind of taxes are going up, including capital gain taxes. There is a strong shift towards this. In France or Germany, the Left parties (Socialists in France, SPD and Green in Germany), which are pro-European are gaining ground. The anti-Euro parties are gaining ground as well, but Left seems a clear favourite right now to win the next elections in France (personally, I think it will be a tight race between the Socialists and the Far Right). It probably means more state intervention, higher taxes, a Federal Europe, repressing the financial sector. I also think they will try to avoid sovereign defaults by all means, including massive ECB monetization (talking trillions of Euros, 10x times the current ECB program..) and FORCING the recapitalized banks to buy all the govt debt.

In such a scenario, Id like to make a remark, if they succeed in that and BTPs yield -say- 2%, a lot of the current issues we are discussing would disappear, that would be the Japanization of Europe. Some will say it will be worse than allowing defaults, and that may or not be true, but it would have definitely a lot of impact on the markets. Food for thought.

On the markets

As I write, after the FED, the stock markets resumed its selloff led up by financials and Europe crashing again. (CAC 2800 -5%) Click to enlarge...


Also the USD is continuing its massive strenghtening against virtually everything EUR, CHF, CAD, AUD, GBP, but also Asian Currencies are hit very hard too (except the JPY for now). There is a rush for USD and deleveraging is in full mode. Our bearish call for EURUSD to keep its downtrend is a hard winner. I still believe low 1.20s is achievable in a short period of time.

I had recommended earlier to get out of our short on BNP when it was still trading 27, more than 15% up than now, but hey, the stock did trade above 30 thereafter. My motivation was not to say that was THE LOW on BNP. I fully agree with Reggie that the stock could go to 20,15,10 or 0 if/when it gets ugly.The thing is about risk/reward. a 10% move today is only a 5% move compared to when we recommended shorting the stock. Implied vols means a 7% daily move in the stock is noise only (1STD).

And my stance is a bit different from Reggie (we cant agree on everything). I spoke to a clever HF manager yday, and he believes the stock could easily be worth 35 if the govt puts a big ticket in BNP. If the govt puts 10bn in all French banks at the same time, I think its not unwise to believe this will happen in a matter of seconds. BUT, I replied to him as well, waiting for this to happen, we could see the stock down to 20,15,10 and still see 35 behind! Remember 2009. Banks are being squeezed by (USD) liquidity and some kind of run starting.

Its becoming a casino now and insiders have a clear advantage on us. Play at your risk. But a way to minimize risk in a bear market, is to sell bounces, not to try to go long to catch the falling knife, but also not to try to sell with the momentum as there are always vicious squeezes. bear markets trade sideways or up most of the time!

On SP, which was resilient to selloff, well I will admit that yday before the FED I was feeling quite nervous with the positions with a fear of a squeeze, as the Daily Chart wasn't overbought yet. However the 1210-20 level (where we recommended to sell calls to buy put spreads in previous comments) was also the Weekly MA10, which was retested and now were heading logically lower again. Luckily (or not Cool) I'd say, our recommended strikes fit well with the price action.

(More to come soon, sorry for the short post).

Opposing opinion

This is Reggie here, forcing my two cents into this post (the rest of these posts regarding trading strategies and tactics will be subsciption only). I have no doubt the French government along with the other EU governments will try to bail out their banks again. The issue is that the bailout is not the question, neither is the success of said bailouts. The fact of the matter at hand is that they simply can't afford to bail them out. I have predicted FIRE sector (including banks) failure at a commendable rate (see Did Reggie Middleton, a Blogger at BoomBustBlog, Best Wall Streets Best of the Best?). It's not rocket science, though. It's simply (and actually quite simple, since my 10 year old can do it) math, coupled with a pliable understanding of human nature couped in grasp of history. Listen, it was the (attempted) bailing out of the banking system that got these countries in this situation to begin with. Bailing out the banks just two years later??? Do you really thing that will help the sovereign debt situation or hurt it? If the bailout goes through, you eat the small losses (relative to the big gains that BoomBustBlog delivered subscribers) and roll your gains directly into bearish positions on the bailing sovereigns. It's really just that simple. Don't belive me, let's look at history...






 So, as I was saying...

Since the problems have not been cured, they're literally guaranteed to come back and bite ass. Guaranteed! So, as suggested earlier on, download your appropriate BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" Models (they range from free up to institutional), read the balance of this article for perspective, then populate the assumptions and inputs with what you feel is realistic. I'm sure you will come up with conclusions similar to ours. Below is sample outout from the professional level model (BNP Exposures - Professional Subscriber Download Version) that simulates the bank run that the news clippings below appear to be describing in detail...(Click to enlarge to printer quality)


A detailed and accurate picture of what is happening...

  1. Now That European Bank Run Contagion Has Started Skipping Across That Big Pond... US Bank Risk Stands Woefully Underappreciated!!!
  2. The BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" Model Available for Download
  3. BNP Bust Up: Yet Another Reason Why BNP Paribas Is Still Ripe For Implosion!
  4. Most Headlines Now Show French Bank Run Has Started, And It's Happening Just As Our Research Anticipated
  5. I Will Fly In The Face Of Common Wisdom & Walk Through A Run On BNP On International Television
  6. And The European Bank Run Continues...

A step by step tutorial on exactly how it will happen....

Stacy Summary: We interview Reggie Middleton about a run on French banks. I notice today that Pimco’s El-Erian is also talking about a run on French banks. He must have watched the Keiser Report when it aired from late last night PDT. We know you’re taking our shtick Mr. El-Erian, we’ve got our eye on you!

Go to 13:07 marker in the video, contrast and compare and consider watching the smaller more independent shows for the real scoop every now and then.

For some back ground on the "Kick the Can Triumvirate Three" [BBB Trademark], go to 20:50 in the video and dedicate 5 minutes to it...

My April presentation in Amsterdam as Keynote detailing the inevitable...

Amsterdam's VPRO Backlight and Reggie Middleton on brutal honesty, destructive derivatives and the "overbanked" status of many European sovereign nations

Amsterdam's VPRO Backlight and Reggie Middleton on brutal honesty, destructive derivatives and the "overbanked" status of many European sovereign nations

Again, I believe the next big thing, for when (not if, but when) European banks blow up, is the reverberation through American banks and how it WILL affect us stateside! Subscribers, be sure to be prepared. Puts are already quite costly, but there are other methods if you haven't taken your positions when the research was first released. For those who wish to subscribe, click here.

Note: This bank has members of its peer group who have been identified as at risk, but no one has pulled the covers off of this one as of yet. I think I may blow the whistle. It will be a doozy, and a potentially very profitable one at that since nearly 3/4 of it tangible equity is embroiled in a region that looks like it is about to blow up. As I type this, some of the puts have already doubled in price. I will be releasing additional analysis on this bank this weekend for paying subscribers.

Last modified on Saturday, 24 September 2011 09:29

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