With rates spiking and equities dropping, all due to the long overdue realization that Bernanke can't goose the markest forever, I take this time to review my many warnings of this moment as it it approaches.

Reggie Middleton Featured in Property EU, one of Europe's leading real estate publications

Those who wish to download the full article in PDF format can do so here: Reggie Middleton on Stagflation, Sovereign Debt and the Potential for bank Failure at the ING ACADEMY-v2.

Here comes that lost decade, albeit three years tardy...

At the ING Valuation Conference in Amsterdam: Inflation + Deflation = Stagflation

Published in BoomBustBlog

Guest post by Mordecai Grun:

In order to invest it's important to understand the economic fundamentals. In the long term it's like gravity, there's no way to escape whatever is really the truth. This holds true in Bearish and Bullish markets.

Economists and investors alike are looking at the GDP number as a way to understand whether the economy is growing and by how much. However not all GDP is created equal. It is important not only to look at the GDP but also to look at where it's coming from to assess its quality. Take, for example, the following two neighbors. One is a hard working immigrant that earns 100,000 in annual income, but lives in a simple home and is saving 40%of his income for retirement, his children's education and to have cash available for any future business opportunity that may come his way. His neighbor is in the public sector also earns 100,000 per year however he just took on a mortgage to purchase a brand new home for 800,000 and between credit cards is living on 135,000 per year (Spain 2000-08). Obviously from a GDP perspective the latter is creating way more GDP, but from a sustainability and quality perspective the reverse is true. In a theoretical world, growth in GDP would come from improved productivity and investment. However, in reality, GDP growth can come from a variety of sources. Increases in consumer debt, public sector debt, asset price inflation (ex. housing or equity markets, Bond Markets), foreign money entering the country to purchase assets, are all sources of GDP.

Under any of the above scenarios simulucrum of what seems like quality GDP will also be created. For example during the housing bubble auto sales and manufacturing were also very high. In short, since lenders and manufacturers increase supply with demand they really don't look at where and how the money is created or where it comes from. The same is true for government. As state taxes, for example, grow during a boom the politicians raise their spending (actually outpacing the growth rate of the boom) and don't question whether it's possible long term to have so many real estate agents during a housing boom or to sustainably have retail sales growth outpace economic growth. When the inevitable blow comes everyone is surprised and acts as if economic depressions are unpredictable, sort of like tornadoes.

So, let's analyze what current GDP really looks like. Let's assume 1 trillion in Deficit spending (includes all levels of Government) and 1 trillion in QE and assume the banks have increased their lending by the QE amount. Yes, I know these figures are not precise and that the banks may be hoarding liquidity, however from the froth out there it actually seems like the QE maybe having a multiplier effect at this point and while not precise it is ballpark. As such at a 15 trillion dollar economy and a GDP growth of 3% the true GDP would be a negative -10.3%. This does not include the multiplier effect of all the QE and the fiscal deficit. For example, now the auto and retail sales and manufacturing inudstries are very strong. Had there been no QE or public sector debt increase there's no question that services and the manufacturing sector would be doing much worse. Thus making the GDP even more negative than the -10%. SCARY!!

In short had we consumed only what we produced and not printed money, things would be very ugly out here right now. This goes a long way to explaining the angst still felt on main street USA. The fed is very aware of this and therefore very reluctant to take the foot off the gas. The hope is that this will act like a starter to an engine and once it purrs it will go on its own. This has never yet been tried and done successfully, at least to my knowledge. It should work when there's a confidence or liquidity crisis, but won't work when there's a structural mathematical reason the economy is doing poorly.

From this vantage point the US has not been producing real, healthy GDP growth in a long time. Most growth in GDP prior to 2008 was just an increase in household debt and asset inflation spending due to the increased valuation in housing and bonds (and now equities) due to the shift to ultra-low interest rates . Take these factors out and we certainly would be in a significant recession since at least 2001 and perhaps earlier.

What are the structural defects to the economy? As we illustrated earlier policy makers don't know or understand the sources of economic activity and their sustainability or quality. One such example is the tremendous amount of US manufacturing that was shipped overseas pre-2008 . This was barely a political issue, due to the fact the economy was going strong and unemployment was low. In short, who cares about 15 dollar an hour furniture factory jobs when mortgage brokers are making 300 thousand plus? So to the trade deficit does not matter when trillions of foreign money is pouring into US assets. Commodity production? Always a dirty and unneighbourly affair, why go through the mess if everyone is happy and making hay? Import duties to protect domestic production? VAT taxes to balance the budget? Policies that promote more people in the work force? Policies that create low cost electricity and energy? Why go through all this when everything is hunky dory?

At present the policies in place make it extremely difficult to PRODUCE things here or increase productivity. The trade deficit and high fuel prices (even when going to domestic sources) and a government and service sector that is too large for the productive economy are like air being let out of the balloon while it is being pumped.

So how long can this go on for? It's anyone's guess, however since most of the Global Economy is doing, or will be doing fiscal stimulus and QE, combined with the fact that we are the world's reserve currency this may go on for quite a while. Though a bond market where the fed purchases most or all of treasury issues may happen sooner rather than later.

What does this mean for investors? The bull market in equities may still have a long course to run and as in the previous housing or other bubbles the market insanity can go higher and longer than anyone sane can imagine. Especially in this case where as the QE kicks in, government debt will go down and GDP up. Even manufacturing may have a strong run as a spinoff of all this misplaced optimism and debt. It will feel almost as if the economy is healing.

Many market participants are concerned that QE will end. This is having a negative impact on precious metals and commodities and to a much lesser extent equities. However, if this thesis is correct, long term we are in for infinite QE. The Fed may taper down for a short while, but the economic results will be so dire, that the fed will reintroduce QE with a double dose. Even to the extent of buying treasuries at significant percentages below the true inflation rate. This will lead to huge increases in precious metals, real estate, and some inflation resistant equities, while being a big drag on corporate debt, or any bonds that the Fed isn't buying. The Fed will put a floor on treasury prices by promising to purchase at a certain price. Basically the premise of this article is that eventually either massive inflation, or a severe recession/depression or a fundamental productive economic shift needs to take place. Given the choice , QE Fiscal stimulus and eventual inflation are ahead of us.

Unfortunately the fundamental shift that needs to take place namely that we produce MORE than we consume and SAVE the difference and invest it in productive assets has not taken place. Nor are there any policies being put in place that would encourage this.

Gravity will hit at some point and the later it will be the harder. So enjoy the party as it really is a good one and their handing out free spiked fruit punch. But stand near the exit so that when the floor begins to buckle you step out of the way.

Disclosure: I am long GLDSLV. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Reggie's Take

inflation_correlation.pngMordecai said "Basically the premise of this article is that eventually either massive inflation, or a severe recession/depression or a fundamental productive economic shift needs to take place. Given the choice , QE Fiscal stimulus and eventual inflation are ahead of us."

Well, that's given the choice. I reality, many of us really don't have a choice, particularly when someone else is pulling the purse strings. Not given the choise, the prognosis is as I have said throughout 2010 and 2011...

Hmmm... What happens when wages and earning assets go down in value as input prices increase? I have warned of the stagflationary scenario several times in the past as the most likely outcome of the battle between the deflation camp and the inflation camp. See:

On Gold Bug Ducks, Magical Regulators, and Innocent (yet funny .

 

 
Published in BoomBustBlog

On Wednesday, 17 April 2013 I queried "What Should The US Do If One Of The Biggest Banks In Ireland Blatantly Defrauded US Investors?" In such query, I levied some heavy accusations at the Bank of Ireland. Its worth a read if you haven't done so already. Well, two months later, I read in the Irish Independent the following: Internal probe at Bank of Ireland

AN inquiry is under way within Bank of Ireland's private banking division, as the bank's internal auditors investigate what have been described as "possible irregularities".

The Sunday Independent has learned that Bank of Ireland's auditors have been inside the division, which counts many of Ireland's most wealthy and powerful individuals among its clients, at various stages over the past six weeks, conducting what one source described as a "thorough examination" of its activities.

Hmmmm. Now, that's interesting. Six weeks ago would have been about two weeks after I dropped my bomb of a scorching missive on sheeple who are to this day, much too trusting of the banking system. That two weeks is just about the amount of time it would have taken a big corporation to act on the information that I levied (if it was in a rush). Wholly a coincidence, I'm sure!

The bank's audit team is seeking to establish if any of its private banking clients' affairs have been handled in any way improperly.

The bank's management is understood to be treating the matter "very seriously". Commenting on this, one well-placed source said: "The investigation isn't complete yet. It's difficult to say when it will be complete. We are obliged to follow due process before we come to any conclusions."

Asked if Bank of Ireland had brought in any third parties to assist with the investigation or if it had made contact with gardai even on a preliminary basis, the source said: "No, the matter is being dealt with internally and all appropriate procedures are being followed.

... The source stressed that clients of the division that is under investigation would be notified immediately in the event that the bank uncovered any evidence to show that their affairs had been inappropriately managed.

I have to be honest, I hate it when people ask me for free advice. After all, if my advice/opinion/knowledge was thought to be worth something, then people ought to act like it, no? Well, methinks one should make an exception to the rule this one time and offer some free advice to the "internal audit team" at the Bank of Ireland. I know, I know... Nobody asked me, but since they haven't bothered to bring in any third parties yet, why not invite myself and crash the party?

Let's, once again, reference my post from two months ago - What Should The US Do If One Of The Biggest Banks In Ireland Blatantly Defrauded US Investors? wherein I will update the ADR performance chart for the bank if Ireland.

image003

As you can see, there was a significant and material loss taken by ADR holders during the time in question at BoI. But, following the auspices of this story in the Independent, yet using our BoomBustBlog investigative resources, there's much more here than meets the eye. A document that I made available to professional/institutional subscribers details how the Bank of Ireland sought and received an exemption from SEC rule 102 of Regulation M (click here to brush up on your US securities law). In short, this exemption allowed the bank to literally trade in its own securities, provided it wouldn't abuse the privilege. See an excerpt below...

bank-of-ireland-060711-1-4 Page 01bank-of-ireland-060711-1-4 Page 02


This letter worked literal wonders for the Bank of Ireland stock within days of being issued. Even more miraculous is the fact that it wasn't public information at the time yet the public somehow knew to bid the shares up by nearly 100%. Hmmmm! Coincidence, eh?

image007

Even more damning is the fact that the alleged historical trading volume in the shares in question (a pertinent fact used as an argument to get the Reg M exemption in the first place) spiked by nearly 5X!!!

image009 

...Bank of Ireland Private Banking is, according to its website, "Ireland's largest and oldest private bank. The country's leading entrepreneurs, business leaders, professionals and families trust us to manage their wealth with discretion and integrity."

 If the private banking client's capital was used to churn these shares, then.... Oh Boy~~~

Per WikipediaMarket manipulation is a deliberate attempt to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market and create artificial, false or misleading appearances with respect to the price of, or market for a securitycommodity or currency. Market manipulation is prohibited in the United States under Section 9(a)(2)[1] of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and in Australia under Section s 1041A of the Corporations Act 2001. The Act defines market manipulation as transactions which create an artificial price or maintain an artificial price for a tradable security.

Examples

  • Churning: "When a trader places both buy and sell orders at about the same price. The increase in activity is intended to attract additional investors, and increase the price."

If the stock was churned, the price would have increased temporarily until the performance numbers of the loss making bank would have came to fore. But then again, what would management have to gain by manipulating the stock in such fashion. After all, bankers aren't incentivized or measured by share prices, bonuses, year and reviews, etc., right???

I have released information that has apparently caused quite a bit of high level C-suite types to head for the hills, reference BoomBustBlog Hard Hitting, Bleeding Edge Research Results In 2nd High Level Ouster/Resignation In The UK & Euroland

If you believe that the information above actually identifies a gross misrepresentation of fact, omission or outright fraud, simply contact the SEC and let them know that Reggie Middleton suggested they look into it. You can actually use this form to convey my message


fraud

Those of you in Ireland who may not want to get "Cyprus'd", ie. have your bank accounts fund another bailout, should contact the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement. Click this link, and tell them Reggie from NYC sent 'ya. Seriously! The reason why Irish banks haven't been reformed was because not enough light has been shown on the activities. See a valid attempt at such here. This is the time, for the tea leaves foretell the next bank collapse & bailout will be funded directly out of your bank accounts, reference Ireland, You May Very Well Be Bust & I Make No Apologies For What I'm About To Show You for those who don't believe me. See Global Banking Crisis - How & Why YOU Will Get "Cyprus'd" for an example of a bank statement of a Cypriot who didn't take the regulation of his bank seriously!!!

Published in BoomBustBlog

For the past two months I have been releasing heretofore unseen documentation, proof-backed allegations and logical assertions throwing light on what I view to be gross misrepresentations, attempts at financial reporting prestidigitation and what I consider to be outright fraud in the Irish and UK banking system. BoomBustBlog has been the only source of such information and except for a few outliers, the MSM has literally refused to run stories on this. 

Alas, even though mainstream editors, producers and reporters are trying to ignore what the BoomBust has done, massive shock waves have shaken loose those at the very top of the power structure. Unfortunately, much of what is going down is beyond the ken of the hoi polloi due to the taboo nature of the most important message that I convey. 

Remember what happened when I initially dropped the Irish bomb on the unsuspecting Irish public? The head of the Irish Central Bank Regulatory Authority unexpectantly resigned...

reggie middleton on irish banks

So, what happens when you bring the Fiery Sword of Economic Truth to the UK and Ireland???

Here's the answer to that question in the form of another surprise (not) to all BoomBustBloggers. After my multiple expose's on RBS...

  1. I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets!
  2. Who is RBS? Royal BS... or the Royal Bank of Scotland
  3. Taxation Without Representation: UK Taxpayers Schooled on What US Students Are Taught In 3rd Grade

We see Reuters reporting: RBS shares slump after shock ousting of CEO Hester. Surprise! Surprise!

 Royal Bank of Scotland shares fell seven percent on Thursday after the surprise ousting of CEO Stephen Hester left investors questioning who would steer the part-nationalized bank through to an eventual privatization.

Isn't this just one helluva string of coincidences that as I uncover dirt and grime, we get these "unexpected" and "unforeseen" ousters and resignations days and weeks afterward. If I didn't know better, I'd think someone busted these guys doing something naughty... Nahh! Couldn't be!

I know more than a couple of UK taxpayers who'd much not rather pay Irish bad debts. I decided to rub a little salt in the UK wound by throwing some arithmetic illumination on the situation via an embedded Irish bad bank tax calculator...

The app below allows the UK Taxpayer to calculate for themselves exactly what their individual contribution (pro rata) is to the government bailout of RBS.

I've taken the liberty of pre-populating the input fields for you, but if you don't agree with the numbers then by all means insert your own!

Then there's still that Cyprus'd thingy... 

While the inclusion of large savers in future bank bailouts is now widely accepted, significant differences still remain between member states.

While the new rules governing bank resolution were first intended to come into place in 2018, since the Cypriot bailout there have been calls from senior EU figures such as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi and EU economics affairs commissioner Olli Rehn to introduce the new regime as early as 2015.

The Irish presidency of the European Council is hoping to reach a common position by the end of next month.

The little app below calculates what return you should expect to receive to take on the risk of a potential 40% haircut. The second tab offers what recent Cyprus bank rates were. Do you see a disparity???

Other hard hitting pieces on the resurgent EU banking crisis

 

Published in BoomBustBlog

Yesterday I opined extensively on transparency (actually, the lack thereof) in the European banking system - Transparency In The European Banking? Madness, I say! Sheet, Utter Madness!!! I tore into the Irish banks as well as reminding all of the 2011 research that found the French banks to be the weakest link in pan-European banking contagion. Of course, you'd never here that from the sell side. Well, as luck would have it, look what I found on Euromoney.com today (Hat tip @StaceyHerbert)...

French banks most systemically risky in Europe – HEC Lausanne study:

According to systemic risk measures for European financial institutions, developed by the Centre for Risk Management at Lausanne (CRML), French regulators would need to provide €300 billion, as of mid-May, to fulfil regulatory requirements in the event of a global financial crisis, defined as a 40% semi-annualized fall in global stock markets.
Using methodology developed in collaboration with the well-known and influential New York University Stern’s Volatility Institute, run by NYU professor Leonard Stern and Nobel laureate Robert Engle, the index gauges large European banks’ systemic risk by measuring size, leverage and exposure to global equity market shocks. The dynamic index, updated on a monthly basis, reveals that, as of mid-May, Crédit Agricole has the greatest risk exposure of any bank in Europe, followed by Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas.

Hmmm... Now, where have we heard this before? 

French Banks Can Set Off Contagion That Will Make Central Bankers Long For The Good 'Ole Lehman Collapse Days!

image001

This Is Why BoomBustBlog Is THE Place To Go For Hard Hitting Research: BoomBust BNP Paribas?

The WSJ article excerpted above quotes BNP management as saying: "The bank has €135 billion in "unencumbered assets after haircuts" that are eligible to central banks."

OK, I'll bite. Excactly how did BNP get to this €135 billion figure? Was it by using Lehman math? Methinks so, as clearly delineated in my resarch report on the very first page:

BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_01BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_01

 

 The Beginning Of The Great French Unwind?!?!?!...

Another BIG Reason Why BNP Paribas Is Still Ripe For Implosion!

As excerpted from our professional series File Icon Bank Run Liquidity Candidate Forensic Opinion:

... Now, if you were to employ the free BNP bank run models that I made available in the post "The BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" Model Available for Download"" (click the link to download your own copy of the bank run model, whether your a simple BoomBustBlog follower or a paid subscriber) you would know that the odds are that BNP's bond portfolio would probably take a much bigger hit than that conservatively quoted above.  Here I demonstrated what more realistic numbers would look like in said model... 

image008

 

Published in BoomBustBlog

Last month I posted updates of my search and studies of distressed European assets stemming from the banking crisis to be had at prime risk adjusted returns, see Preparing Resources To Shop For Distressed Assets As Banks Refuse To Come Clean On Near Fraudulent Reporting  and Which Banks Are We Looking At To Shop For Assets?. Well, a month later, the Economist economist jumps into the fray with the article "Till default do us part, A half-hearted banking union raises more risks than it solves". To wit:

Almost a year ago, as the euro crisis raged, Europe’s leaders boldly pledged a union to break the dangerous link between indebted governments and ailing banking systems, where the troubles of one threatened to pull down the other. Yet the agreement that seems likely to emerge from a summit later this month will be one that does little to weaken this vicious link. If anything it may increase risks to stability instead of reducing them.

Almost everyone involved agrees that in theory a banking union ought to have three legs. The first is a single supervisor to write common rules and to enforce them uniformly. Next are the powers to “resolve” failed banks, which is a polite term for deciding who takes a hit; these powers also require a pot of money (or at least a promise to pay) to clean up the mess left by bust lenders and to inject capital into those that can get back on their feet. The third leg is a credible euro-wide guarantee on deposits to reassure savers that a euro in an Italian or Spanish bank is just as safe as one in a German or Dutch bank. National insurance schemes offer scant reassurance to savers when sovereigns are wobbly and insured deposits make up a big chunk of annual GDP (see chart).


The logic behind this chart has been the engine behind out contagion model, the core thesis behind the short on continental Europe in general (see Overbanked, Underfunded, and Overly Optimistic: The New Face of Sovereign Europe) and our hypothesis against the French banks - reference "On Your Mark, Get Set, Bank Run".

There's much more to this bank run, capital flight thingy in Europe. I explained it in detail over two years ago:

First, the European banks are just too big in relation to Europe, herself!

Sovereign Risk Alpha: The Banks Are Bigger Than Many of the Sovereigns

image015.png

Second, as stated in the Economist, we have a liquidity time bomb! 

As excerpted from our professional series File Icon Bank Run Liquidity Candidate Forensic Opinion:

BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_01BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_01BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_01

This is how that document started off. Even if we were to disregard BNP's most serious liquidity and ALM mismatch issues, we still need to address the topic above. Now, if you were to employ the free BNP bank run models that I made available in the post "The BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" Model Available for Download"" (click the link to download your own copy of the bank run model, whether your a simple BoomBustBlog follower or a paid subscriber) you would know that the odds are that BNP's bond portfolio would probably take a much bigger hit than that conservatively quoted above.  Here I demonstrated what more realistic numbers would look like in said model... image008image008image008

To note page 9 of that very same document addresses how this train of thought can not only be accelerated, but taken much further...

BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_09BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_09BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_09

So, how bad could this faux accounting thing be? You know, there were two American banks that abused this FAS 157 cum Topic 820 loophole as well. There names were Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. I warned my readers well ahead of time with them as well - well before anybody else apparently had a clue (Is this the Breaking of the Bear? and Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise?). Well, at least in the case of BNP, it's a potential tangible equity wipe out, or is it? On to page 10 of said subscription document...

BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_10BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_10BNP_Paribus_First_Thoughts_4_Page_10

Yo, watch those level 2s! Of course there is more to BNP besides overpriced, over leveraged sovereign debt, liquidity issues and ALM mismatch, and lying about stretching Topic 820 rules, but I think that's enough for right now. Is all of this already priced into the free falling stock? Are these the ingredients for a European bank run? I'll let you decide, but BoomBustBloggers Saw this coming midsummer when this stock was at $50. Those who wish to subscribe to my research and services should click here. Those who don't subscribe can still benefit from the chronology that led up to the BIG BNP short (at least those who have come across my research for the first time)...

Thursday, 28 July 2011  The Mechanics Behind Setting Up A Potential European Bank Run Trade and European Bank Run Trading Supplement

Lastly... When everybody's lying, no one is trusted with telling the truth! There's the sovereigns themselves lying through their collective teeth, reference Smoking Swap Guns Are Beginning to Litter EuroLand, Sovereign Debt Buyer Beware! There's the so-called "Troika", reference Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse!. Then there's these banks and those damn stressless stress tests... Again, as excerpted from French Banks Can Set Off Contagion That Will Make Central Bankers Long For The Good 'Ole Lehman Collapse Days!:

On that note, ZeroHedge has come out with a blockbuster explanatory article: Credit Suisse Buries European Banks, Sees Deutsche Bank And 65 Other Bank Failing Latest Stress Test, €400 Billion Capital Shortfall

A day after Credit Suisse killed the Chinese bank sector saying that the equity of virtually the entire space may be worthless if NPLs double, as they expect they will to about 10%, the Swiss bank proceeds to kill European banks next. Based on the latest farce out of Europe in the form of the third stress test, which is supposed to restore some confidence, it appears that what it will do is simply accelerate the flight out of everything bank related, but certainly out of anything RBS, Deutsche Bank, BNP, SocGen and Barclays related.

I'd like to add that I've ridiculed all of these stress tests, US and European, although the European stress tests were by far the biggest joke. Dexia passed with a grade of A (or so), and will be nationalized momentarily. 'Nuff said!

To wit: "In our estimation of what could be the “new EBA stress test” there would be 66 failures, with RBS, Deutsche Bank, and BNP needing the most capital – at €19bn, €14bn and €14bn respectively. Among the banks with the highest capital shortfalls,SocGen and Barclays would need roughly €13bn with Unicredit and Commerzbank respectively at €12bn and €11bn. In the figure below we present the stated results. We note RBS appears to be the most vulnerable although the company has said that the methodology, especially the calculation of trading income, is especially harsh for them, negatively impacting the results by c.80bps." Oops. Perhaps it is not too late for the EBA to back out of this latest process and say they were only kidding. And it gets even worse: "We present in this section an overview of the analysis which we published in our report ‘The lost decade’ – 15-Sep 2011. One of our conclusions was that the overall European banking sector is facing a €400bn capital shortfall which compares to a current market cap of €541bn." Said otherwise, we can now see why the FT reported yesterday that banks will be forced to go ahead and proceed with asset firesales: the mere thought of European banks raising new cash amounting to 75% of the entire industry's market cap, is beyond ridiculous. So good luck with those sales: just remember - he who sells first, sells best.

And the scary charts:

1. Capital Shortfalls under Stress Test part Trois (9% min. CET1 ratio)

 

Judged against these three requirements, Europe’s new plan is a miserly one. Its outlines emerged in a joint paper released on May 30th by France and Germany. The minimalism of the paper suggests the summit will offer little more than the establishment of single supervisor and a promise to set up a vaguely defined “resolution mechanism”.


Those who follow me know that I'm medium term bearish on both any sovereign nations and their out-sized, profligate, insolvent banking systems which they support. Ireland makes a good  example - If I Provide Proof That The Entire Irish Banking System Is A Sham, Does It Set Up A Much Needed System Reboot? Let's Go For It... and The Beginning Of The Great Irish Unwind?!?!?!.

Back to that Economist article:

If a pot of money is pledged it will probably be a small fund raised through a tax on banks and without the backing of governments. If Europe’s bail-out fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), is referred to it is likely to be only as a last resort to recapitalise lenders after ailing countries have already bankrupted themselves standing behind their banks. A euro-wide deposit insurance fund is so controversial it isn’t polite to mention it.

...The legal challenges are also enormous. Each country in the euro has its own bankruptcy code. A change in the treaties governing the European Union would probably be needed to give a new resolution authority the power to seize bank assets and impose losses on creditors.

 Events outside the negotiating room have also reshaped the scope of a banking union. The “bail-in” of Cypriot banks earlier this year dipped into the savings of uninsured depositors in order to recapitalise lenders. Repeating that tactic would risk deposit flight from peripheral banks and a sharp increase in banks’ funding costs. But rather than committing public funds to shore up banks elsewhere, some politicians would doubtless prefer to hit uninsured depositors again.

But,,,, but,,,, without a definitive source of "rescue" capital, a bail-in is all but guaranteed, right Ireland???!!! I hate to pick on them, but the Irish make a good  example - If I Provide Proof That The Entire Irish Banking System Is A Sham, Does It Set Up A Much Needed System Reboot? Let's Go For It... and The Beginning Of The Great Irish Unwind?!?!?!

A strategy of incrementally moving towards a full banking union might have worked in normal times. Doing so in the middle of a crisis is risky. Over the coming year the ECB will have the unenviable task of assessing the health of the banks it is about to supervise. Its root-and-branch examination may well reveal gaping holes at a number of big banks. Yet without ready access to a pot of money to fill these holes, the ECB could be reluctant to force banks to come clean. “It is madness to expose capital shortfalls if you don’t know where new capital is going to come from,” says one bank supervisor.

Oh, I see. This must explain the blatantly fraudulent-esque goings on I uncovered in the Irish banking system. In case you haven't heard, I issued a Direct Challenge To Federal Reserve & Irish Central Bank Bubble Blowers. When I did Provide Proof That The Entire Irish Banking System Is A Sham, the ECB did absolutely nothing! No phone calls! No meetings! No emails! Makes you wonder why, eh? 

 "Over the coming year the ECB will have the unenviable task of assessing the health of the banks it is about to supervise. Its root-and-branch examination may well reveal gaping holes at a number of big banks. Yet without ready access to a pot of money to fill these holes, the ECB could be reluctant to force banks to come clean."

Madness, I tell you! Madness!!!

Published in BoomBustBlog

Reggie Middleton on UK Bank Taxation Without Representation

First up, a quick history lesson courtesy of Wikipedia:

"No taxation without representation" is a slogan originating during the 1750s and 1760s that summarized a primary grievance of the British colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution. In short, many in those colonies believed that, as they were not directly represented in the distant British Parliament, any laws it passed taxing the colonists (such as the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act) were illegal under the Bill of Rights 1689, and were a denial of their rights as Englishmen.

The phrase captures a sentiment central to the cause of the English Civil War, as articulated by John Hampden who said “what an English King has no right to demand, an English subject has a right to refuse” in the Ship money case.

... The British Parliament had controlled colonial trade and taxed imports and exports since 1660.[1] By the 1760s, the Americans were being deprived of a historic right.[2] The English Bill of Rights 1689 had forbidden the imposition of taxes without the consent of Parliament. Since the colonists had no representation in Parliament, the taxes violated the guaranteed Rights of Englishmen.

...The phrase had been used for more than a generation in Ireland.[7][8] By 1765, the term was in use in Boston, and local politician James Otis was most famously associated with the phrase, "taxation without representation is tyranny."[9] In the course of the Revolutionary era (1750-1783), many arguments seeking to resolve the dispute surrounding Parliamentary sovereignty, self-governance, taxation, and the constitutional rights of 'commoners' to representation were pursued.[10]

Why go through this US grade school history lesson? Well, UK taxpayers have been paying substantial taxes to essentially bail out an Irish bank with no say so in how said bank is operated. As a matter of fact, they don't even know the extent of said bank's indebtedness despite paying a ton of money to bail it out. RBS investors have taken material losses due to this very same bank. Both of these parties went without adequate disclosure or... "representation".  A couple of months ago I penned a piece titled "I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets!" wherein the Royal Bank of Scotland's failure to adequately report the full (and quite excessive, in my opinion) liabilities of its ill-fated acquisition, Ulster Bank of Ireland. Ulster Bank pumped massive losses into RBS, who in turn neared collapsed and required a massive bailout by the UK taxpayer (billions of pounds massive), who still owns 81% of this sick creature as I type this missive. Those losses were generated by an Irish bank in Ireland, but paid by UK citizens, and the losses were materially understated in my opinion for Ulster Bank was/is much less solvent than RBS is letting on through its US SEC reporting, having encumbered all of its ECB eligible assets available for lending... ALL OF ITS ASSETS! See "I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets!" for complete details, it's a doozy!

I know more than a couple of UK taxpayers who'd much not rather pay Irish bad debts. I decided to rub a little salt in the UK wound by throwing some arithmetic illumination on the situation via an embedded Irish bad bank tax calculator...

The app below allows the UK Taxpayer to calculate for themselves exactly what their individual contribution (pro rata) is to the government bailout of RBS.

I've taken the liberty of pre-populating the input fields for you, but if you don't agree with the numbers then by all means insert your own!

Lo and behold, about a monthafter my reports the BBC published an article titled "Will the bad be taken out of RBS?" wherein they reported on plans to split the farce formerly known as a bank - RBS - into a good bank/bad bank scheme (ahem!). Shortly thereafter, the Irish Times ran the following article "UK Treasury considers Irish takeover of Ulster Bank - Reports suggest UK authorities want the Irish government to take control of bank". I really, really wonder why? As excerpted:

A “radical” restructuring of Royal Bank of Scotland, which is largely owned by the UK taxpayer, could see it transfer control of its Irish operation, Ulster Bank, to the Irish government.

The future of RBS is currently being considered by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, and a draft report from the commission called for the split of RBS into a good bank and a bad bank.

However, a speculative report from BBC business editor Robert Peston has suggested that “another, more radical option is also being assessed by the Treasury”.

This would involve somehow removing Ulster Bank from RBS. The bank has been one of the worst performing parts of the group, with losses of £1 billion in 2012.

Mr Peston said that one idea raised is to “transfer Ulster Bank into the arms and ownership of the Irish government”, by swapping all or part of the bank for the British loans and investments currently owned by Ireland’s “bad bank”, the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

Hmmm... That's interesting, trading trash for garbage!

Published in BoomBustBlog

Scotland is making a move for independence from the UK as a sovereign nation. Such an event is bound to be rife with political motivations and ramifications that I'm no where near qualified to gauge or judge. Yet, there is one thing that I can comment on with conviction, and that is the risks that abound in the banking system. You see, with so many political motivations running in several directions, the truth (or even a facsimile of it) will be hard to come by in such a situation, but I believe I can ferret out a nugget or two. Here are a few snippets from an article ran on CNBCcom today: Scotland Independence Could Lead to Cyprus-Style Banking Crisis

An independent Scotland is at risk of a Cyprus-style banking crisis, as its banking sector would be "exceptionally large" compared to the size of its economy, a U.K. government report has said.

"An independent Scotland would have an exceptionally large banking sector compared to the size of its economy - with banking assets of more than 1250 percent of Scottish [gross domestic product] - making it more vulnerable to financial shocks and the volatility of the sector," the Treasury report said on Monday.

The report pointed out Scotland's banking exposure would dwarf that of Iceland and Cyprus, two countries that faced severe banking collapses in recent years. Iceland's banks, for example, had assets equivalent to 880 per cent of GDP, while Cyprus, which faced a banking crisis in March, had total banking assets of around 700 per cent of GDP.

...for Scotland if its banks needed bailing out, posing significant risks to Scottish taxpayers, the report claimed.

The report as cited by the article then goes on to make more direct comparisons to Cyprus, not unlike I did two months ago, but with Ireland (see As Forewarned, The Irish Savers Have Just Been "Cyprus'd", And There's MUCH MORE "Cyprusing" To Come).

"At the end of September 2012, the two largest banks – the Cyprus Popular Bank and Bank of Cyprus – had assets in the region of 210 per cent and 175 per cent of Cyprus's GDP respectively."

"It is worth noting that, if Scotland became independent, its banking sector would be similarly concentrated (with two large players, Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland and a number of smaller firms), and that an independent Scotland's domestic banking sector would be likely to be significantly larger than that of Cyprus (assuming no change to firms' domicile arrangements)."

While there's not a single doubt in my mind that this so-called research paper has distinct political ulterior motives at it heart, a fact is still a fact nonetheless. RBS is still a problem in terms of systemic risk. On Thursday, 11 April 2013 I penned, I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets! wherein I clearly illustrated that RBS is materially understating its liabilities AND even went so far as to include links to the SEC and the UK banking regulator so that US/UK taxpayers and investors can notify our erstwhile regulator(s) to the potential of financial shenanigans. The root of the problem is that RBS has materially under-reported its liabilities (in my oh so humble opinion.) Those that stress tested RBS (the same erstwhile professionals that allowed the Irish banks to pass their stress tests 3 months before they started collapsing) apparently overlooked humongous swaths of liabilities. The charge documents referred to in the aforelinked article are definitively not apparent in the recent bank stress testing’ conducted by the European Banking Authority, at least not in the summary results that the EBA have made available. For those who are still skeptical, I beg thee reference the RBS Stress Test download. I presented ample evidence directly in my previous articles, to wit:

What happened behind closed doors?

Ulster Bank gave a first floating charge in favor of the Central Bank of Ireland (an arm of the European Central Bank) and the Financial Services Authority of Ireland. U.S. investors would have had to rely on the contents of The Royal Bank of Scotland's 2008 Annual Accounts which apparently (in my opinion) concealed the existence of the CRO registered charges to the Central Bank of Ireland.

Ulster Bank RBS charge doc 2 Page 1

I even included a lawsuit filed in which investors apparently go the message, they just didn't have access to the analyst that I proffered...

rbs litigation

Anyone interested in RBS will be well served to review "I Illustrate How The Irish Banking Cancer Spreads To The UK Taxpayer And Metastasizes Through US Markets!" thoroughly! 

To give the prospective Scottish taxpayer a clue as to what surprises may lurk beneath, I post this tidbit from the afore-linked article...

The app below allows the UK Taxpayer to calculate for themselves exactly what their individual contribution (pro rata) is to the government bailout of RBS.

I've taken the liberty of pre-populating the input fields for you, but if you don't agree with the numbers then by all means insert your own!

Published in BoomBustBlog

Following up on the post from this morning,"Preparing Resources To Shop For Distress…", I'm releasing the followup t our Distressed Asset Sale Initiative for pro and institutional subscribers (click here to subscribe or upgrade) - File Icon Distressed Sales From EU Sovereigns and Banks V.2.0.

As excerpted:

Update Note - European Bank Deleveraging

In our last report on European Bank Deleveraging in May last year, we had highlighted that the European Banks would be forced to shrink their balance sheet by way of asset-sale, reduction in lending and scale-back of their retail business. We had also mentioned why banks would be required to deleverage, and to what extent European banks have planned their asset sale categorized by:

(1)      Banking Activities (Investment banking, Corporate, Retail)

(2)      Asset Category (Banking, Insurance, Asset Management, etc), and

(3)      Location (Asia, Latin America, EU and North America)

The Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) released by IMF (International Monetary Fund) in April 2012 had estimated that EU banks (a sample of 58 banks in IMF GFSR April 2012) would reduce assets by $2.6 trillion (under the base policies scenario) over the period from Q3 2011 to Q4 2013 (10 quarter estimate).

Actual data for 5 quarters ending Q2 2012 shows that a number of euro area banks have taken steps in the direction to deleverage although the pace of effort has somewhat slowed down after Q1 2012 due to ECB’s efforts to relieve funding pressure on banks. The assets of the sample banks fell by around $600 million from Q2 2011 to Q2 2012 (source: IMF’s GFSR October 2012 report). The period Q4 2011 accounted for a major share of the above decline.

Which banks actively initiated deleveraging?         

A number of large European banks decreased their exposure during Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. The decline was notably the highest in the peripheral euro area, around 12% in Q4 2011 and Q1 2012 combined, compared to the decline in other regions, namely other advanced regions in Europe, emerging Europe, emerging Asia, Latin America and other parts of the world. The chart below shows the percentage decline in exposure of European banks by regions in Q4 2011 and Q1 2012.

Published in BoomBustBlog

As the equity markets are benefiting from the forced zero rates of central banks world-wide, I remain cognizant that the core problems of the crash five years ago have went absolutely nowhere. As I have demonstrated to all that I am no perma-bear in calling the contrarian pair trade of the decade (short Apple: Deconstructing The Most Accurate Apple Analysis Ever- long Google: Reggie Middleton Goes For 2nd Win On CNBC Stock Challenge & Causes TROUBLE!!!). I'm not pessimistic, I'm realistic! My recent rant on the Irish banks included the post that pretty much laid out the evidence of a potential Irish bank collapse -  "If I Provide Proof That The Entire Irish Banking System Is A Sham, Does It Set Up A Much Needed System Reboot? Let's Go For It... I followed this up with a stern warning to Irishmen - "As Forewarned, The Irish Savers Have Just Been "Cyprus'd", And There's MUCH MORE "Cyprusing" To Come". Who do you believe, me or your Irish government? Let me give the skeptical readers a little assistance...

Just a month and a half ago, we've had Irish officials proclaiming...

image004

Hey, ninety days or so later... guess what?

image008

These banks are likely to need a recap, a recap that will likely get a sloppy and ugly. I visited the UAE this time last year and noticed that would be an excellent source of capital for a shopping spree based upon the EU Bank deleveraging. It prompted me to detail my thoughts to subscribers for I was preparing to raise capital. 

Distressed Sales from European Sovereign Nations and Banks Page 01Distressed Sales from European Sovereign Nations and Banks Page 02Distressed Sales from European Sovereign Nations and Banks Page 03Distressed Sales from European Sovereign Nations and Banks Page 04Distressed Sales from European Sovereign Nations and Banks Page 05

This is just a portion of the report released (subscribers can find the full report in the Global Macro Section of the downloads area). One page in particular was particularly prescient, page 9... Remember what happened two months ago before you read this and be sure to notice the dates on the embedded documents... Bank deleveraging is REAL!!!

Distressed Sales from European Sovereign Nations and Banks Page 09

I have updated versions of this distressed asset acquisistion document which I will post for institutional subscribers later on in the day. Any institutions or high net worth individuals interested in my plans should feel free to contact me. 

Published in BoomBustBlog