What could the ruler of Egypt's turmoils possible have to do with the need to takeover even more banks in western Europe and the potential default of several members of the PIIGS group? Read on, my dear friend...

I received an impressive response from my earlier description of the potential for contagion as a result of the Egyptian uprising. It is very engaging to simply fathom the practical melding of the minds of financial analysts, political analysts and global macro-economists. Unfortunately, this is not common practice. As a matter of fact, it is apparently never done in the analysis & research commonly proffered by the brokerage houses and the mainstream media. The practical applications of such has demonstrably superior predictive power over the application of any of the single approaches. For those who have not followed me over the years or somehow feel that an individual or small group cannot outperform the glorious houses for brokerage of "The Street", I urge you to look into who I am and to compare my performance to that of the street's best and brightest over the last few years . I attempted to demonstrate the predictive powers and effectiveness of looking for deeper understanding outside of one's core discipline by illustrating to my readers how our Sovereign Contagion Model predicted a roughly 40% chance of eruption in the Middle East, reference :

Published in BoomBustBlog

Three years ago, I ran a series of posts that declared the housing crisis will lead to municipal defaults (Municipal bond market and the securitization crisis – part I and Municipal bond market and the securitization crisis – part 2) and even worse, miserable recoveries. I caught a lot of flack on this proclamation from the "expert"Muni investors and analysts. The Muni default record blah, blah, blah... Historically, Munis have rarely defaulted... Yakety yak! Well, somebody better explain that to the unsecured investors of bankrupt Vallejo, CA. From the Bond Buyer:

SAN FRANCISCO — Unsecured creditors will receive 5 cents to 20 cents on the dollar for their claims under a reorganization plan Vallejo, Calif., filed Tuesday in federal court.

The plan to exit bankruptcy outlines the reorganization of debt the city owes its largest creditors, Union Bank and National Public Finance Guarantee. It also sets aside a pool of $6 million to pay unsecured creditors about 5% to 20% of their claims over two years, according to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District in Sacramento.

“The city regrets that it cannot pay a higher percentage,” Vallejo officials said in the court filings. “The city lacks the revenues to do so while maintaining an adequate level of municipal services, such as the provision of fire and police protection and the repairing of the city’s streets.”

The city has also settled with NPFG over fees that backed insured certificates of participation, according to court documents.

Published in BoomBustBlog

The day after I posted wherein I made clear my opinion that the legal and litigation risks that the banking industry faces is woefully underestimated, the Massachusetts Land Court Decision that invalidates foreclosures based on post sale assignments was up held by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. This is permanent, and precedent setting, absolutely justifies and vindicates my post from the day before, which also contained links to other posts which any declared sensational just a few days before, ex., The Robo-Signing Mess Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg, Mortgage Putbacks Will Be the Harbinger of the Collapse of Big Banks that Will Dwarf 2008! and As Earnings Season is Here, I Reiterate My Warning That Big Banks Will Pay for Optimism Driven Reduction of Reserves. This is a very big deal since it actually unravels many thousands of foreclosures and sets precedent to be examined across the country (all 50 state's attorney generals are looking into fraudclosure issues) that will really cause material damage to the banks that are pursuing (have pursued) said foreclosures. As reported in the Massachusetts Law Blog:

Breaking News (1.7.11): Mass. Supreme Court Upholds Ibanez Ruling, Thousands of Foreclosures Affected

Update (2/25/10)Mass. High Court May Take Ibanez Case

Breaking News (10/14/09)–Land Court Reaffirms Ruling Invalidating Thousands of Foreclosures. Click here for the updated post.

None of this is the fault of the [debtor], yet the [debtor] suffers due to fewer (or no) bids in competition with the foreclosing institution. Only the foreclosing party is advantaged by the clouded title at the time of auction. It can bid a lower price, hold the property in inventory, and put together the proper documents any time it chooses. And who can say that problems won’t be encountered during this process?... Massachusetts Land Court Judge Keith C. Long

“[W]hat is surprising about these cases is … the utter carelessness with which the plaintiff banks documented the titles to their assets.” –Justice Robert Cordy, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled against foreclosing lenders and those who purchased foreclosed properties in Massachusetts in the controversial U.S. Bank v. Ibanez case...

... For those new to the case, the problem the Court dealt with in this case is the validity of foreclosures when the mortgages are part of securitized mortgage lending pools. When mortgages were bundled and packaged to Wall Street investors, the ownership of mortgage loans were divided and freely transferred numerous times on the lenders’ books. But the mortgage loan documentation actually on file at the Registry of Deeds often lagged far behind.

Published in BoomBustBlog

Yesterday, I attempted to pull the wool from some of the more complacent eyes of news media consumers by outlining the potential goals for Goldman's half billion "investment" in Facebook while at the same time pondering the market for a different type of media concern. A media concern that is heavy on the analysis and investigation, yet light on the political correctness and conflicts of interest (see Facebook Becomes One Of The Most Highly Valued Media Companies In The World Thanks To Goldman, & Its Still Private!). I definitely don't want to be condescending, but there is obviously (at least to me) a need for such an entity amongst the mainstream rags for as I read through the comment sections of the articles written on the topic, I see such naivete as, "Wow!!! If Goldman is putting their money in this, it must be serious!" I say do myself, "It's a damn shame if that is actually a real person's viewpoint and not a Goldman equity underwriting employee".

You see, this is not about Goldman's attempt to create capital gains through investment, its about their attempt to create income through commissions, fees and spreads.

Published in BoomBustBlog

In 2008 I gave explicit warning that an unprecedented swath of US municipalities were at risk of default. I was pooh poohed by many "experts" who consistently said that the history of default in the US muni bond market is slim to none. Well, my friends, that is history and this is now. The dearth of revenues from declining building permits, sales taxes in the absence of real sales, property taxes from depreciating properties, etc. - all built upon budgets that were carved at the peak of bubble economics groupthink combine to make a disastrous brew.

NYC, arguably the richest economic "city state" in the world and the mecca of banking and real estate is experiencing "applied austerity" programs, effectively going through the service and government payment cutbacks that the Europeans are "promising" to deliver. Keep in mind that NYC is comparable to, if not larger than, from an economic footprint perspective Greece and Portugal. I have accurately determined that the EU is in it very deep - deep enough that default of several nations is a foregone conclusion (see the complete Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis series for more on this).

Despite the nearly guaranteed default of the Euro-area nations, it ain't pretty over hear either, particularly as those eliminated services that have been taken for granted are needed, as in the post Christmas mini-blizzard. I say mini-blizzard because real New Yorkers know that 16 inches of snow is close to a regular occurrence. We get snowstorms nearly every year, but this one literally shut the city down - completely down.

Published in BoomBustBlog

Give it a couple of minutes, the "Cash for Clunkers" program explanation may catch your attention.

[youtube Ij4H9M55c64]

Published in BoomBustBlog

Primarily Dealer Credit Facility

Note: Paying subscribers may download the fully scrubbed model containing all of the date output by the Fed regarding the PDCF as an Excel pivot table here, Primarily Dealer Credit Facility Analysis. Those who are interested in subscribing to our research should click here.

Yesterday, I illustrated how the Fed buried TARP 2.0 amongst a spreadsheet dump of over 70,000 trades and what amounted to probably a million cells of spreadsheet data distributed among a plethora files, see Buried Deep Within The Files That The Federal Reserve Released On Thier MBS Purchase Program, We Found TARP 2.0!!! More Taxpayer Money To The Banks!. Today, we will review another one of those files, dealing with the lending program that the Fed instituted for its Primary Dealer banks.

Published in BoomBustBlog

About a year ago, after hearing so many pie-in-the-sky perma-bullish pundits and bankers say how banks paid every cent of TARP and government assistance back, I went on the following rant - 10 Ways to say No, the Banks Have Not Paid Back Their Bailout from the Taxpayer! Monday, January 18th, 2010:

Yes, some of the banks repaid TARP, with interest and warrants. Okay. The investment big banks (that were still in existence) were offered expedited financial holding company (bank) charters. That is why they didn’t fail, at least in part. So, running down the list, the banks paid back TARP. That’s a +, but….

    1. What was the value for bank charter, to get cheap access to the Fed’s funds? did they pay back this value yet? No!
    1. How about the payment of interest on the banks’ excess reserves at the Fed. Have the banks repaid that yet? No!
    2. The Fed and the Treasury have purchased hundreds of billions of dollars of Agency debt, Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and related securities through Treasury purchase programs. Have the banks paid back the capital behind those purchases yet? No!
    3. How about the Term Auction Facility? Has the capital behind the benefits of that program been paid back? No!
    4. Then there is the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF), has this been paid back? No!
    5. Do you remember the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF)? Have the funds behind that been paid back? No!
    6. What about the PPIP? No!
    7. Hey, there’s the Foreign Exchange Swap programs (the currency swap lines, that saved not only our banks but out banks facing counterparties who were short on dollars), has that been paid back? No!
    8. There’s the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), have the funds behind that been paid back? No!
    9. Most importantly, the opportunity cost of ZIRP, which hurts those who do not speculate (or have not speculated) with near free money! How do you pay that back to grandma and her .017% CDs?

Well, all rants aside, if you bothered to go through the mass dump of data that the Fed produced as a result of the Bloomberg FOIL suit, you will find that not only did the banks not pay back the massive amount of assistance that was given to them, they were actually granted more in the form of MOPTARP (MBS Overpayment Troubled Asset Repayment Program), and yes, I did make that up. How much more? Well, potentially more than the original TARP bailout! I'm getting ahead of myself though, so let's backtrack.

Published in BoomBustBlog

Here's a little cross pollination to attract bears from all over.  Karl Deninger, the editor of the Market Ticker, invited me over for a half hour chat on his Blog Talk Radio show to discuss things such as foreclosure fraud, banks, derivative risk and the markets. You can access the original airing podcast on Karl's site. I have taken the liberty to append some graphics to the background to add some information to the discussion (see below). Enjoy!

Part One (the impatient may want to skip ahead about 1:32 to get the actual start of the discussion. I highly recommend you choose the 720p HD setting and expand to full screen in order to read the graphics in full fidelity.

Part one

[youtube nSFWrvznCp8]

Part two

[youtube 9noMeVOC-DE]

Published in BoomBustBlog

While chatting with Herb Greenberg before my interview at CNBC on the banks, he asked me why I was short the banks, JPM in particular (JP Morgan’s 3rd Q & Just How  XYZ Bank Can Never Go Out of Business!!!). I told him that I believe they are overly optimistic about the reserve thingy (Big Banks Will Pay for Optimism), the mortgage put back cosequences (JP Morgan’s Analysts Agree with BoomBustBlog Research, Contradict CEO Jamie Dimon’s Conference Call and The Putback Parade Cometh: Pimco, New York Fed Said to Seek Bank of America Repurchase of Mortgages) and real estate in general. I also said that in the scheme of things, Jamie Dimon appears to be, by far, the most effective manager of the big banks, and JPM  seems to be the best run of the big banks. He negotiated a literal coup with Bear Stearns purchase, getting the billion dollar head quarters for free, the company for $10 per share and government backing for the legacy assets. He made a mistake with WaMu by not demanding a deeper discount. I know it seems like 28% or so off seems like a good deal, but it was not  - and I clearly stated it several times (Is JP Morgan Taking Realistic Marks On Its WaMu Portfolio Purchase? Doubtful!). I just want to make this clear. There is nothing personal here, at least in terms of investments and financial analysis. The stream of events are of such grave consequence that this goes beyond mere finance, though. Why? This country has been "Bamboozled by the Banking Industry", but the "Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost". Let me explain...

Throughout most of 2009, while 10%+ of unemployed middle America stopped paying their mortgages, busy standing in line for shiny fat margin iThingies while in rabid debate about how many pieces of tail Tiger Woods may or may have not hit (yes, that story got 2160 tweets and 375 comments on how well endowed "the Tiger" is - would you dare to bet that this article on a potential depression will get even one third of that?) the  greatest mass fraud of this lifetime against said persons was underway.

This should be played 720 HD full screen mode

[youtube IEw25ByILkY]

Mr. and Mrs Middle America, you've been Had, you've been Took, Bamboozled, Hoodwinked, led Astray, run Amok (yes, YOU have, see You’ve Been Bamboozled, Hoodwinked and Lied To! Here’s the Proof. What Are You Going to Do About It? and click your rung in the socio-economic ladder, ex. your "social class"). From rating agency subprime madness to stress tests designed not to apply any stress to robo-signing and beyond (Mortgage Putbacks, the Harbinger of the Collapse that Will Dwarf 2008!) the financial and political elite appear to be running a real time experiment to demonstrate how numb they can prove the mainstream populace to really be? Will the experiment fail this time around? After all, things are different with the Web, and independent thought rocketed around the world in the form of blogs. We shall see what becomes of this real time socio-economic lab session, we shall see!

A few have been emailing me looking for a bio. I believe my track record should speak louder than any paragraph or two about my prior occupation(s). Credibility should come from accomplishment, not pedigree, no?  Click here to find out who I am what I have done. Be sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.

Next up:

  1. the updated JP Morgan forensic valuation (yes, what I think it is actually worth) for subscribers (there's  a surprise or two in here that I'll reveal to the public)
  2. the Goldman Sachs forensic valuation update
  3. and my proprietary research on the foreclosure backlog this one will be a doozy)!

The Truth goes Viral!

Published in BoomBustBlog
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