The WSJ reports Corzine Rebuffed Internal Warnings on Risks:

MF Global Holdings Ltd.'s executive in charge of controlling risks raised serious concerns several times last year to directors at the securities firm about the growing bet on European bonds by his boss, Jon S. Corzine, people familiar with the matter said.

The board allowed the company's exposure to troubled European sovereign debt to swell from about $1.5 billion in late 2010 to $6.3 billion shortly before MF Global tumbled into bankruptcy Oct. 31, these people said. The executive who challenged Mr. Corzine resigned in March.

The disagreement shows that concerns about the big bet grew inside the company months ...

As I have hinted in "The Ironic, Prophetic Nature of the MF Global Bankruptcy Filing and It's Potential Ramifications" I knew the ex-CEO of MF Global, and in particular member(s) of in the internal audit staff - one of which I knew very well and trained. There is one glaring FLAW in the structure of internal risk management and audit in MF Global, and that was that it was WEAK! If internal audit answers to operational executive management, then how can it truly crack the whip on its own boss. Now, granted, this is not endemic to just MF Global, but it is truly a problem. Internal audit/risk management needs to answer to a separate entity, apart from the CEO and possibly apart from the Board itself if the CEO has had a part in selecting the board. This way there is true independence and the nonsense that you just saw with MF Global has a much less likely chance of happening.

Alas, such is life. For instance, why are you reading this through a subscription blog versus PWC's audit report of MF Global? Hmmmmmm.....


Published in BoomBustBlog

Some rather hard hitting reporting and analysis on the Vampire Squid...

Start at 2:20 into the video.

I have much more on this...

Yes, The BoomBustBlog Forecast Pan-European Bank Run Has Breached American Soil!!!

The Ironic, Prophetic Nature of the MF Global Bankruptcy Filing and It's Potential Ramifications

The Anatomy Of A European Bank Run: Look At The Banking Situation BEFORE The Run Occurs!

MF Global ran into a liquidity squeeze while betting on the European debt that I have warned my subscribers for two years to avoid like the plague. Goldman is doing the same thing, no?

As excerpted from the model that powers BoomBustBlog subscriber document Goldmans Sachs Derivative Exposure: The Squid in the Coal Mine?

goldman_balance_sheet_risk

As you can see, Goldman traded its derivative book risk for sovereign risk - just in the nick of time to catch the tail end of a derivative crisis  & the start of a sovereign debt crisis. Excellent job fellas! Goldman has literally doubled its sovereign assets, starting the exact year that I started warning in the Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis series. BoomBustBlog subscribers covered this scenario over a year ago.

Go to the 26:40 marker in the video...

Published in BoomBustBlog

Slide1Last week I illustrated the interconnected EU master duo with the most ironic of divergent agendas: When The Duopolistic Owners Of The EU Printing Presses Disagree On The Color Of The Ink!  Basically, Germany and France are pulling in two different directions trying to get off of a boat that will drown them both, regardless. Then I posed the taboo question: Are The Ultra Conservative Dutch Immune To Pan-European Pandemic Contagion? Are You Safe During An Earthquake Because You Keep Your Shoes Tied Snugly?

The Dutch are probably in for a banging that the vast majority of the populace are not expecting. The presentation below is a subset of the keynote speech that I gave at the ING CRE Valuation Conference in Amsterdam last April. Some may say it was quite prescient. I'd say it was a matter of paying attention.

Before you peruse through the Power Points and related videos, glance over Interbank_Contagion_in_the_Dutch_Banking - 2006 (pdf)  and then review Cross_Border_Bank_Contagion_in_Europe_- 2006 (pdf). It is apparent that I wasn't the only one who used calculators and common sense before it was too late. To wit:

We investigate interlinkages and contagion risks in the Dutch interbank market. Based on several data sources, including survey data, we estimate the exposures in the interbank market at bank level. Next, we perform a scenario analysis to measure contagion risks. We find that the bankruptcy of one of the large banks will put a considerable burden on the
other banks but will not lead to a complete collapse of the interbank market. The exposures to foreign counterparties are large and warrant further research.

The following presentation shows not only Euro-area banks going bust but European CRE as well. So, why aren't German and UK banks - and REITs (yes, even Dutch REITs) on negative watch with the ratings agencies? And even more interesting question is why isn't the industry that I prepped my subscribers for in regards to the next forensic report beng put on watch by the ratings agencies? The quick answer is... Because they know they'll get paid to come to a pile of smoldering ashes with a fire hose, anyway. Let this be the official declaration: The man that called the fall of WaMu, CountryWide, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and GGP as well as the problems of about 32 regional US banks as well as the Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis (all while these enttities were investment grade and AAA rated) is now calling BS to the ratings agencies as they fail to take it to the UK, Germany and CRE. You heard it here first, and you'll probably hear an "I told you so" in a few months as well.
Below, click the graphic to advance it, or you can click the play button at the bottom of the black box for "autoplay".

Subscibers are welcome to discuss this in the private forums:

Published in BoomBustBlog

Last week I posted a rather scathing diatribe, basically ridiculing the fact that Dick Bove get's so much MSM airtime for his virtually consistently wrong calls and analysis (see the repost of that particular rant towards the bottom of this article. It appears as if Mr. Bove may have read said diatribe and used his cache with the MSM to post a response. To wit:

Bove: Why I Was Wrong on Bank Stocks

With a month left in 2011 and—barring a miracle—bank stocks headed for a negative year, Dick Bove is admitting he was wrong.

This is both commendable and respectable. It is honorable and healthy to admit when you are wrong, and we all have the opportunity to do so since nobody is right all of the time!

The widely followed Rochdale Securities analyst has been telling investors for a good portion of the year that banks have recovered from the financial crisis and are in much better shape they were three years ago.

Yes and no! They are in much better shape than they were three years ago, but that is highly misleading because they were nearly all virtually bankrupt. Now they are merely borderline bankrupt, but only if marked to reality. ... And no, they have not recovered from the financial crisis or rates would be above virtual ZIRP zone!

Investors, though, haven’t been biting.

Because they read BoomBustBlog!

Heading into Monday’s aggressive rally, the Standard & Poor’s 500 financials were off 26.3 percent on the year, and the KBW Bank Index had fallen 31 percent.

For Bove—Rochdale’s vice president of equity research—the decline has been a maddening ride spurred not by bank fundamentals but rather by investors’ belief that no matter how good the earnings look or how loans are performing or where capital levels stand, investor worry over bigger factors takes precedence.

“The macro factor will continue to be more important than the micro factors,” Bove conceded over the weekend in a moderate mea culpa to investors.

“On periods like this analysts, like me, who rely on traditional parameters like company results and historic relationships between interest rates and earnings yields, are going to have a tough time.”

In essence, Bove argues that he was wrong for the right reasons.

This is nonsense. With all due respect, you were a Dick that was wrong for all of the wrong reasons. Earnings looked good because reporting standards have been gutted allowing for the facade of performing loans and reserve releases padded losses. Capital levels looked impressive to the great unwashed because mark to fantasy allowed gaping capital deficiencies to be glazed over.

Liquidity, capital, loan performance, revenue, profits—all the metrics by which one would traditionally analyze banks—look good.

But worries over the world’s debt crises, particularly in Europe and the U.S., are making risk-averse investors unwilling to buy the banks in Bove’s coverage universe.

My Dick! European liquidity issues threaten a US liquidity issue. Massive uncertainty caused by unreliable and downright untrustworthy financial reporting has caused a deserved discount to financial assets, which is why valuations have tumbled.

“The divergence between the economic and financial fundamentals, on the one hand, and the stock prices, on the other, reflects a change in risk assumptions,” he wrote.

“For multiple reasons, investors keep demanding a higher and higher risk premium on common stock investments, in general, and in bank stocks, in particular.”

Someone please see my statement above and explain it to Dick!

Boiling down what he got wrong this year, Bove said: “I failed to understand that the fears in the market concerning banking were so great that the fundamental improvements in the economy, the industry, and companies like Bank of America [BAC  5.2017  0.0317  (+0.61%) and Citigroup [C 25.03 1.40  (+5.92%)] would simply be ignored.”

Still, Bove believes that an improving economy and—in his view—the European crisis actually benefiting rather than harming U.S. banks will justify his optimistic outlook that persists for 2012, even if he’s been dead wrong so far.

“Bank stocks are being driven by fear despite the significant improvement in the industry and individual company fundamentals. Presumably, at some point, fear will either be realized or dissipate,” he told clients. “My assumption is that it will dissipate. At this point, the industry’s fundamentals will drive bank stock prices higher. This was my view at the beginning of 2011 and it is my view at present.”

Yeah, okay...

A BoomBustBlog Deep Dive on Dick

You also have the not so prescient headline akin to a fireman ariving at a smolding pile of ashes, brandishing his brand new fire hose waiting to put out said house fire - Two Thirds Chance of 2012 Europe Recession: Survey. Subscribe to BoomBustBlog, my friend (early 2010) The Depression is Already Here for Some Members of Europe, and It Just Might Be Contagious!
Now, speaking of Europe, particular Dexia (France, Belgium Wrangle About Dexia Deal: Reports), this brings to mind another highlighted headline focusing on the oft quoted sell side banking analyst US Stress Tests Not Worrying: Bove... Dick Bove is one of the, if not most oft quoted sell side bank analyst in the mainstream media. I disagree with him, regularly. As the uber independent investor/analyst that I am, I will never be accurately accused of kissing [up to] Dick - regardless, let's grab Dick by the base [of his assumptions] and see if we can yank something usable out of it, shall we?

The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday it plans to stress test U.S. banks—including the six largest—against a hypothetical market shock, such as an escalation of the European debt crisis.

Dick Bove
cnbc.com
Dick Bove

But noted banking analyst Dick Bove said there is nothing for investors to get upset about because the stress tests are pro forma and are not an indication that the Fed  has any particular concerns about the state of American banks.

“It was really required by the Dodd-Frank law that they have a stress test,” the Rochdale Securities analyst told Larry Kudlow. “So every year at about this time you have the Fed setting up a new stress test for the banking industry.”

The six big banks to be tested are Bank of America [BAC  5.37    -0.12  (-2.19%)   ], Citigroup [C  24.46    -0.54  (-2.16%)   ], Goldman Sachs [GS  89.40    -1.90  (-2.08%)   ], JPMorgan Chase [JPM  29.41    -0.50  (-1.67%)   ], Morgan Stanley [MS  13.52    -0.08  (-0.59%)   ] and Wells Fargo [WFC  23.93    -0.25  (-1.03%)   ].

While the Fed's stress tests will see whether U.S. banks can withstand any further deepening of the European debt crisis crisis, Bove isn't worried about contagion from the EU.

“If [the European banks] run into significant difficulties, it is not going to create a massive crisis in American banks,” he said. “American banks are benefiting meaningfully as a result of the European banking crisis and it’s showing up in their earnings.”

Will someone buy Mr. Bove an Insitutional BoomBustBlog subscription. Of course it won't create a massive crisis in American banks... The 8th largest bankruptcy in this country's history doesn't even scratch the radar, right??? The Ironic, Prophetic Nature of the MF Global Bankruptcy Filing and It's Potential Ramifications

That’s because European banks are selling American assets to American banks at discounted prices.

However, Bove thinks it’s highly unlikely that the European banks will collapse. He believes the European Central Bank will ultimately bail them out.

Okay, where do I start? Well, I must admit, I don't look, speak, think nor act like any of the sell side analysts. If you are into convention, and not into hard hitting analysis and outspoken brothers, then I'm just not your man. If that's the case, I suggest you simply get you some Dick. For those who (like me) don't favor dick, I have a slightly different flavor to offer in terms of analysis and perspective.

For those not familiar with Mr. Bove, he made an interesting call on Bear Stearns which was essentially antithetical to my research. I will copiiously (I apologize Karl) excerpt a post from the Market Ticker which explains the story explicitly: Dick Bove, Bear Stearns, And Controversey

  Apparently Mr. Bove does not like my ticker from last night, and believes that I have been in some way "unreasonable" in my characterization of him, specifically this paragraph:

"The Truth: The "powers that be" (including the media, The Fed and The Banks) are absolutely beside themselves with the possibility that stocks, especially bank stocks, might decline in value. For "why" see the top of this blog entry. If you fall for this you will be wiped out. DICK BOVE PUT A MARKET PERFORM RATING ON BEAR STEARNS STOCK ON MARCH 11th - JUST THREE DAYS BEFORE IT BLEW UP AND (THE FOLLOWING MONDAY) WENT TO $2! You have NOT and you WILL NOT see CNBC or DICK BOVE take responsibility for the wipe out of SEVERAL BILLION DOLLARS IN SHAREHOLDER WEALTH - when he could have preserved YOUR MONEY if he had told you the truth about our financial institutions and that YOU SHOULD SELL ALL OF THEM AS THERE ARE AND WILL BE MORE EXPLOSIONS, ALTHOUGH NEITHER HE OR I HAVE NO WAY TO KNOW WHICH ONES AND NEITHER DO ANY OF THE ANALYSTS SINCE WE CAN'T SEE HONEST BALANCE SHEETS!"

He was kind enough to send me a copy of the full report which I have edited to remove his email address and phone number (at his request), but which is otherwise reprinted here with his permission. You are urged to read the report in full and draw your own conclusions about whether the market performrating was reasonable or not. Links are at the bottom of this post. There apparently is one word he can legitimately complain about in my original ticker - the word "PUT". In fact, he maintained a "Market Perform" rating on the 11th of March; the upgrade to Market Perform from SELL appears to have occurred in February.

You can find an archived copy of that story here. It says among other things, in reference to Bear and Lehman:

"He said private equity may once again be able to fund activities in the high yield markets, while adding that credit derivatives markets were unlikely to go lower, and that the mortgage business may actually be quite strong this year.

New York-based Lehman will likely recover faster than its peers due to the expected strength in mortgages, Bove said."

Ok, I apologize for the error in not noting that the actual upgrade apparently came a month earlier, not that I think its material, but when you're wrong, you admit you're wrong. Mr. Bove, of course, didn't bother to mention when the rating was issued by him during our phone call, nor that when he issued the rating the price of the stock was even HIGHER (by nearly $20!) than it was in March when the rating was "maintained" (even though he claims it really wasn't if you read the narrative.) Now let's get to the meat of the matter and why I raised a stink about it in The Ticker - the rating. Dick claims that "anyone who read the report in full would see that I had told them to stay away from the stock."

After reading the report in full, I agree - the stock, by the narrative of the report, is indeed a sell - albiet a sell $20, or 25% of your money, too late!

But here's the problem - the report clearly cuts the price target from $90 to $45 (a 50% haircut!) and further is a reduction of 25$ (from $59 to $45) from the closing price on the day the report was issued.

The report is intended only for institutional clients who pay his firm, but it, like the report yesterday, was picked up and widely quoted in the media. Take a look at the second page of that report, directly above Mr. Bove's certification, under the definition of "Market Perform":

"Common stock is expected to perform with the market plus or minus five percentage points."

Since I took the liberty of excerpting so much, I urge all who are interested in this story to read Karl Deningers full post on his page - Dick Bove, Bear Stearns, And Controversey. In regards to me, let's contrast my opinions of Lehman and Bear in January of 2008, as opposed to Dick's - Is this the Breaking of the Bear?

Bear Stearns is in Real trouble

Bear Stearns will soon be, if not already, in a fight for its life. It is beset with the possibility of a criminal indictment (no Wall Street firm has ever survived a criminal indictment), additional civil litigation, and client defection and alienation. Despite all of these, the biggest issues don't seem all that prevalent in the media though. Bear Stearns is in a real financial bind due to the assets that it specialized in, and it is not in it by itself, either. For some reason, the Street consistently underestimates the severity of this real estate crash. If you look throughout my blog, it appears as if I have an outstanding track record. I would love to take the credit as superior intelligence, but the reality of the matter is that I just respect the severity of the current housing downturn - something that it appears many analysts, pundits, speculators, and investors have yet to do with aplomb. With a primary value driver linked to the biggest drag on the US economy for the last century or so, Bear Stearn's excessive reliance on highly "modeled" and real asset/mortgage backed products in its portfolio may potentially be its undoing. This is exacerbated significantly by leverage, lack of transparency, and products that are relatively illiquid, even when the mortgage days were good...

Book Value, Schmook Value – How Marking to Market Will Break the Bear’s Back

Okay, I’ll admit it. I watch CNBC. Now that I am out of the confessional, I can say that when I do watch it I hear a lot of perma-bulls stating that this and that stock is cheap because it is trading at or below its book value. They then go on to quote the historical significance of this event, yada, yada, yada. This is then picked up by a bunch of other individual investors, media pundits and other “professionals,” and it appears that rampant buying ensues. I don’t know how much of it is momentum trading versus actual investors really believing they are buying on the fundamentals, but the buying pressure is certainly there. They then lose their money as the stock they thought was cheap, actually gets a lot cheaper, bringing their investment down the crapper with it. What happened in this scenario? These investors bought accounting numbers instead of true economic book value...

Level 2 and Level 3 Assets – Model Risk

Model risk, or the risk of the bank living in a spreadsheet in lieu of the market, has already reared its head in the summer of ’07 with the blow up of two of BSC’s hedge funds, which have left them in litigation with their own customers. Basically, many of the assets of the fund were levered highly, and valued based upon modeled cash flows from assets, and not from the actual tradable value of the assets. This is fine, until you need to liquidate by selling assets. As luck would have it, they found no market they felt was acceptable and were forced to market value down significantly, approaching zero. It has also manifested itself more recently in the recent announcement that they will be moving at least 7 billion dollars to the level three (the most BullSh1+) category. Bear Stearns has recently announced another hedge fund blow up, which doledout significant losses to investors and is attempting liquidation. For my laymen’s plain English take on level 1, 2, and 3 asset accounting, see the Banks, Brokers and Bullsh|+series (Banks, Brokers, & Bullsh1+ part 1 for model risk,).

Level 3 Assets at 231% of Total Equity; Amongst the Highest on Wall Street

Weighted average price (US$)
Methodologies Weight assigned Fair Price Weighted average price
Fair price using P/Adj. BV approach 50.00% 33.84 16.92
Fair price using P/E approach 50.00% 39.00 19.50
Weighted average fair price     36.42
Current price     87.03
Upside from current levels (US$)     -58.2%

The book value numbers are after our economic marking and adjustments, of course. The “E” portion of the P/E ration is quite conservative, since the we built model incorporated BSC doing much better during the next 4 fiscal quarters than their peers are reporting for this quarter, and in my opinion BSC will not only fail to match their peers, but underperform due to the loss of their primary value drivers – mortgage derivative and related fixed income products – not to mention their asset management, legal, and litigation distractions as well as client and talent retention issues.

Am I right about the Bear?

Despite the Bear Stearns negative developments, and my opinion of its value, Bear Stearns has managed to find investors as was mentioned earlier in the insider transaction section. These are accomplished and wealthy investors to boot. My concern is that so many astute, accomplished and economically powerful investors have failed to realize and fully appreciate the depth and breadth of the current real asset recession, burst bubble, and quite possibly asset depression we have recently entered. This has destroyed the value of many bottom fishing value investors, both intitutional and retail.

image018.gif

And this is a summmary of my takes on Lehman Brothers from a similar period:

(February through May 2008): Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise? Thursday, February 21st, 2008 | Web chatter on Lehman Brothers Sunday, March 16th, 2008 (It would appear that Lehman’s hedges are paying off for them. The have the most CMBS and RMBS as a percent of tangible equity on the street following BSC. The question is, “Can they monetize those hedges?”. I’m curious to see how the options on Lehman will be priced tomorrow. I really don’t have enough. Goes to show you how stingy I am. I bought them before Lehman was on anybody’s radar and I was still to cheap to gorge. Now, all of the alarms have sounded and I’ll have to pay up to participate or go in short. There is too much attention focused on Lehman right now. ) | I just got this email on Lehman from my clearing desk Monday, March 17th, 2008 by Reggie Middleton | Lehman stock, rumors and anti-rumors that support the rumors Friday, March 28th, 2008 | May 2008

Now that we've established a small base of potential credibility when it comes to bank failure, back to today and Dick's proclamations on CNBC, let's start with Bank of America, who Dick says won't be affected by European malaise. This is Reggie's take...

Then there's Goldman Sachs, the bank where Reggie is just so loved...

After all, I'm sure there'll be no volatility in the markets if Europe blows up. Then again, even if there is volatility in the markets, Goldman's prop desk can handle it, right? I sure hope you guys don't think I'm being a Dick, do you?

What Was That I Heard About Squids Raising Capital Because They Can't Trade? Well, you guys know where I stand on this, and I have warned you ad nauseum...the Squid Can't Trade!

 

Reggie_Middleton_hunting_the_Squid_Known_As_Goldman_Sachs_GS

 

After all, eventually someone must query, So, When Does 3+5=4? When You Aggregate A Bunch Of Risky Banks & Then Pretend That You Didn't?

I'm Hunting Big Game Today: The Squid On A Spear Tip

Summary: This is the first in a series of articles to be released this weekend concerning Goldman Sachs, the Squid! In this introduction (for those who do not regularly follow me) I demonstrate how the market, the sell side, and most investors are missing one of the biggest bastions of risk in the US investment banking industry. I will also...

Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?

Welcome to part two of my series on Hunting the Squid, the overvaluation and under-appreciation of the risks that is Goldman Sachs. Since this highly analytical, but poignant diatribe covers a lot of material, it's imperative that those who have not done so review part 1 of this series, I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On The Spear Tip, Part...

Hunting the Squid Part 3: Reggie Middleton Serves Up Fried Calamari From Raw Squid

For those who don't subscribe to BoomBustblog, or haven't read I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On The Spear Tip, Part 1 & Introduction and Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?, not only have you missed out on some unique artwork, you've potentially missed out on 300%...

Hunting the Squid, part 4: So, What Else Can Go Wrong With Goldman Sachs? Plenty!

Yes, this more of the hardest hitting investment banking research available focusing on Goldman Sachs (the Squid), but before you go on, be sure you have read parts 1.2. and 3:  I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On A Spear Tip, Part 1 & Introduction Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To...

Hunting the Squid, Part 5: Sometimes Your Local Superhero Doesn't Look Like What They Show You In The Movies

On to the next Banque de Dick... You'd think with Dexia in the news, one would know to either stay clear of JP Morgan or at least subscribe to the BoomBust, eh? CNBC reports today (as highlighted in the introductory graphic) France, Belgium Wrangle About Dexia Deal: Reports. Why is this important? Well, look at why Dexia's in trouble in the first place. In the (must read) post Dexia Sets A $5.1bn Provision For Loss On Trying To Sell The Same Residential Real Estate Assets Upon Which JP Morgan Has Slashed Provisions 83% to $1.2bn from $7.0bn you will find..

...Similarly, many sell-side researchers award stocks “buy” or “overweight” ratings even as their internal asset-management units unload shares, presenting a conflict of interest and ethical dilemma. Goldman’s most famous front-runs to date were the Abacus transactions, through which the bank allegedly postured for high ratings for its mortgage-backed CDOs, sold them to clients and then shorted them.

According to research from the Street.com, Goldman put a Conviction Buy Recommendation on JP Morgan Chase shares and issued it to their clients, and then sold 4,200,009 shares of JPMorgan Chase. At an average of $45/share,  that means that Goldman had a lack of conviction in its own "Conviction Buy" recommendation to the tune of $189,000,405. I'd hate to see what the company would do if they recommended clients sell, or worst yet short sell, stock. Oh yeah! We already know, don't we.

Bloomberg reports: Dexia Takes 3.6 Billion-Euro Charge on Asset Sales

That charge taken by Dexia was more than necessary, and most likely not nearly enough. But wait a minute, why did JP Morgan do the exact opposite regarding the exact same asset class?

Do you remember my recent missive "There’s Something Fishy at the House of Morgan"? Well, in it I queried how it was that JP Morgan can continuously pull risk provisions and reserves to pad quarterly accounting earnings at time when I not only made clear that we are in a real estate depression but the facts actually played out the same. As excerpted from the aforementioned article:

I invite all to peruse the mainstream financial media and sell side Wall Street's take on JP Morgan's Q1 earnings before reading through my take. Pray thee tell me, why is there such a distinct difference? Below are excerpts from the our review of JP Morgan's Q1 results, available to paying subscribers (including valuation and scenario analysis): File Icon JPM Q1 2011 Review & Analysis.

'Nuff said! Let's move over to Morgan Stanley... The Truth Is Revealed About The Riskiest Bank On The Street - What Does That Say About The Newest Bank To Carry That Title? You know, I'm still quite bearish on Asian, European and American banks. Just look at the facts as they're laid before you...

Published in BoomBustBlog

Here is another interview given where I espouse my opinion and perspective on global banking and the sovereign debt crisis. Click here for the full audio.

endofthe_world_NO

Published in BoomBustBlog

Note: This will probably be the last post until after Thanksgiving, after which I will delve into insurance industry shorts for my subscribers. In the meantime, I have compiled a very meaty post to keep reades and subscribes alike stuffed to the gills like a turkey. If you haven't noticed, I tend to be a bit spicier and considerably more eccentric than the average financial pundit, commentator, analyst or investor. I think because of that, I've been left out this year's Wall Street bank Christmas party invitations. I ask that anyone who wishes to add a little "spice" in additional to some intellectual discourse and fun to their Goldman, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, etc. Christmas party shoot me an email and invite me along. It'll be fun - really!

In looking through this morning's MSM headlines I see what is tantamount to a mandate for BoomBustBlog subscriptions. Let's walk throught CNBC's front page.

msm_11-23

Starting at the top. The latest German bund auction flopped!

The day before yesterday, and throughout the year, I warned that Bunds would make a good short and Germany was next on The Next Stop On The European Bank Flu Express. There's no reason to believe that Germany, as a net export nation, will not get sick as ALL of its EU neighbors sneeze recession in its face! Nearly two years ago, I posted the following prescient pieces:

  1. What Country is Next in the Coming Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis? – illustrates the potential for the domino effect

  2. The Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis: If I Were to Short Any Country, What Country Would That Be.. – attempts to illustrate the highly interdependent weaknesses in Europe’s sovereign nations can effect even the perceived “stronger” nations.

  3. The Coming Pan-European Soverign Debt Crisis, Pt 4: The Spread to Western European Countries

  4. The Depression is Already Here for Some Members of Europe, and It Just Might Be Contagious!

Then we have the Asian markets down on weak China PMI. What else was there to expect? Does one really think China to be the 23 year of growth packed into 3 year miracle that the sell side and the media make it out to be? I've been warning on China since 2009 as well. See China Is In a Self-Imposed Bubble That Has Nowhere To Go But Bust! You Don't Get Something (Growth Through Stimulus) For Nothing (No Economic Consequences), as exceprted:

I have not had a chance to revisit my China thesis in a while, but it is coming once I round off the European recap and finish up my US technology thesis. China will most likely play a key portion in global financial and economic contagion that is simmering over in Europe. A commenter on another popular blog had this to say of my most recent post regarding Ireland (Erin Gone Broken Bank: The 2nd EMU Nation That Didn’t Need a Bailout Get’s Bailed Out Within Months, Next Up???):

Mr. Middleton,

Although I have no connection with financial investing or services, I read your analyses, and those of others, to be informed of events and topics of great economic importance.  What strikes me as odd, is that in all the stories on European Contagion I find no mention of China's position.  Given China's significant economic connection via trade with the European Union, it is puzzling we don't see more overt action from China to protect/affect the health of it's export recipient's economies.  Am I to infer there is covert action (via GS, Central Banks, IMF for example), China is simply not concerned about the economic stability of the European Union, or it's just waiting for the appropriate time for action/influence?

We definitely know where China stands on U.S. trade and Fed's policies, and it's relations with the other BRIC countries.

Is there a story here that I've missed?

I replied:

I believe China's ability to alter its own course is grossly exaggerated. As a net exporter with relatively minimal internal consumption as a source of economic activity, it is basically at the mercy of importing nation's ability to buy their goods. Any attempt to stoke the ability of these nations importing will be ancillary at best. The "reported" success of their bubble blowing is showing only one side of the equation - the bubble blowing. Signs of a traditional bubble (such as the one whose bursting the US and Europe are struggling to escape from) are everywhere, yet the mainstream media has not focused nearly as much attention on such. Unless the laws of basic human nature has changed, expect to see China suffering from the effects of profligate excesses just as the others that tried to inflate their economies the quick and easy way did.

Less than an hour after typing said reply, Bloomberg reports: China Inflation May Be Too Hot for Controls Amid Cash Glut.

Now, it didn't take a genius to figure out this would happen. As a matter of fact a slight dose of common sense (when was the last time you got something for nothing, really?), a little historical perspective or a BoomBustBlog subscription would have sufficed.

  1. BoomBustBlog China Focus: Inflation? Thursday, May 20th, 2010
  2. Can China Control the “Side-Effects” of its Stimulus-Led Growth? Let’s Look at the Facts Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
  3. What Are the Odds That China Will Follow 1920’s US and 1980’s Japan? Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
  4. BoomBustBlog China Focus: Interest Rates Thursday, May 20th, 2010
  5. My China Ruminations Have Come to Pass As the Country Enters a Bear Market Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
We also have MSM headlines stating Franco-German manufacturing stalling as Belgium and France bitch about Dexia. Well, I warned all that France was the fulcrum point for the EU fall, not Italy and not Greece. Remember, France was supposed to be a savior, along side Germany bailing out with both buckets of water (I mean liquidity). As for France, referrence French Banks Can Set Off Contagion That Will Make Central Bankers Long For The Good 'Ole Lehman Collapse Days! Then please see When The Duopolistic Owners Of The EU Printing Presses Disagree On The Color Of The Ink!, as excerpted:

BoomBustBlog readers and subscribers saw this coming a mile away. The Duopoly that ruled the economics of the EU have divergent needs now, hence divergent interests. Expect this to get worse in the near term. The reasons have been spelled out in Italy’s Woes Spell ‘Nightmare’ for BNP - Just As I Predicted But Everybody Is Missing The Point!!! You see, France, As Most Susceptible To Contagion, Will See Its Banks Suffer because stress in the Italian bond markets will be a direct cause of a French bank run - with the largest of the French banks running the hardest BNP, the Fastest Running Bank In Europe? Banque BNP Exécuter. For those who don't follow me regularly, I warned subscribers on BNP due to the Greco-Italiano risk factor causing a liquidity run born from imminent writedowns. No one from the sell side apparently had a clue. Reference the series:

Let's not forget that obvious headline, "'The Sky Will Fall In' for Europe". Where were you two years ago when the sky started falling? See our Pan-European sovereign debt crisis and notice the dates.
You also have the not so prescient headline akin to a fireman ariving at a smolding pile of ashes, brandishing his brand new fire hose waiting to put out said house fire - Two Thirds Chance of 2012 Europe Recession: Survey. Subscribe to BoomBustBlog, my friend (early 2010) The Depression is Already Here for Some Members of Europe, and It Just Might Be Contagious!
Now, speaking of Europe, particular Dexia (France, Belgium Wrangle About Dexia Deal: Reports), this brings to mind another highlighted headline focusing on the oft quoted sell side banking analyst US Stress Tests Not Worrying: Bove... Dick Bove is one of the, if not most oft quoted sell side bank analyst in the mainstream media. I disagree with him, regularly. As the uber independent investor/analyst that I am, I will never be accurately accused of kissing [up to] Dick - regardless, let's grab Dick by the base [of his assumptions] and see if we can yank something usable out of it, shall we?

The Federal Reserve announced Tuesday it plans to stress test U.S. banks—including the six largest—against a hypothetical market shock, such as an escalation of the European debt crisis.

Dick Bove
cnbc.com
Dick Bove

But noted banking analyst Dick Bove said there is nothing for investors to get upset about because the stress tests are pro forma and are not an indication that the Fed  has any particular concerns about the state of American banks.

“It was really required by the Dodd-Frank law that they have a stress test,” the Rochdale Securities analyst told Larry Kudlow. “So every year at about this time you have the Fed setting up a new stress test for the banking industry.”

The six big banks to be tested are Bank of America [BAC  5.37    -0.12  (-2.19%)   ], Citigroup [C  24.46    -0.54  (-2.16%)   ], Goldman Sachs [GS  89.40    -1.90  (-2.08%)   ], JPMorgan Chase [JPM  29.41    -0.50  (-1.67%)   ], Morgan Stanley [MS  13.52    -0.08  (-0.59%)   ] and Wells Fargo [WFC  23.93    -0.25  (-1.03%)   ].

While the Fed's stress tests will see whether U.S. banks can withstand any further deepening of the European debt crisis crisis, Bove isn't worried about contagion from the EU.

“If [the European banks] run into significant difficulties, it is not going to create a massive crisis in American banks,” he said. “American banks are benefiting meaningfully as a result of the European banking crisis and it’s showing up in their earnings.”

Will someone buy Mr. Bove an Insitutional BoomBustBlog subscription. Of course it won't create a massive crisis in American banks... The 8th largest bankruptcy in this country's history doesn't even scratch the radar, right??? The Ironic, Prophetic Nature of the MF Global Bankruptcy Filing and It's Potential Ramifications

That’s because European banks are selling American assets to American banks at discounted prices.

However, Bove thinks it’s highly unlikely that the European banks will collapse. He believes the European Central Bank will ultimately bail them out.

Okay, where do I start? Well, I must admit, I don't look, speak, think nor act like any of the sell side analysts. If you are into convention, and not into hard hitting analysis and outspoken brothers, then I'm just not your man. If that's the case, I suggest you simply get you some Dick. For those who (like me) don't favor dick, I have a slightly different flavor to offer in terms of analysis and perspective.

For those not familiar with Mr. Bove, he made an interesting call on Bear Stearns which was essentially antithetical to my research. I will copiiously (I apologize Karl) excerpt a post from the Market Ticker which explains the story explicitly: Dick Bove, Bear Stearns, And Controversey

  Apparently Mr. Bove does not like my ticker from last night, and believes that I have been in some way "unreasonable" in my characterization of him, specifically this paragraph:

"The Truth: The "powers that be" (including the media, The Fed and The Banks) are absolutely beside themselves with the possibility that stocks, especially bank stocks, might decline in value. For "why" see the top of this blog entry. If you fall for this you will be wiped out. DICK BOVE PUT A MARKET PERFORM RATING ON BEAR STEARNS STOCK ON MARCH 11th - JUST THREE DAYS BEFORE IT BLEW UP AND (THE FOLLOWING MONDAY) WENT TO $2! You have NOT and you WILL NOT see CNBC or DICK BOVE take responsibility for the wipe out of SEVERAL BILLION DOLLARS IN SHAREHOLDER WEALTH - when he could have preserved YOUR MONEY if he had told you the truth about our financial institutions and that YOU SHOULD SELL ALL OF THEM AS THERE ARE AND WILL BE MORE EXPLOSIONS, ALTHOUGH NEITHER HE OR I HAVE NO WAY TO KNOW WHICH ONES AND NEITHER DO ANY OF THE ANALYSTS SINCE WE CAN'T SEE HONEST BALANCE SHEETS!"

He was kind enough to send me a copy of the full report which I have edited to remove his email address and phone number (at his request), but which is otherwise reprinted here with his permission. You are urged to read the report in full and draw your own conclusions about whether the market performrating was reasonable or not. Links are at the bottom of this post. There apparently is one word he can legitimately complain about in my original ticker - the word "PUT". In fact, he maintained a "Market Perform" rating on the 11th of March; the upgrade to Market Perform from SELL appears to have occurred in February.

You can find an archived copy of that story here. It says among other things, in reference to Bear and Lehman:

"He said private equity may once again be able to fund activities in the high yield markets, while adding that credit derivatives markets were unlikely to go lower, and that the mortgage business may actually be quite strong this year.

New York-based Lehman will likely recover faster than its peers due to the expected strength in mortgages, Bove said."

Ok, I apologize for the error in not noting that the actual upgrade apparently came a month earlier, not that I think its material, but when you're wrong, you admit you're wrong. Mr. Bove, of course, didn't bother to mention when the rating was issued by him during our phone call, nor that when he issued the rating the price of the stock was even HIGHER (by nearly $20!) than it was in March when the rating was "maintained" (even though he claims it really wasn't if you read the narrative.) Now let's get to the meat of the matter and why I raised a stink about it in The Ticker - the rating. Dick claims that "anyone who read the report in full would see that I had told them to stay away from the stock."

After reading the report in full, I agree - the stock, by the narrative of the report, is indeed a sell - albiet a sell $20, or 25% of your money, too late!

But here's the problem - the report clearly cuts the price target from $90 to $45 (a 50% haircut!) and further is a reduction of 25$ (from $59 to $45) from the closing price on the day the report was issued.

The report is intended only for institutional clients who pay his firm, but it, like the report yesterday, was picked up and widely quoted in the media. Take a look at the second page of that report, directly above Mr. Bove's certification, under the definition of "Market Perform":

"Common stock is expected to perform with the market plus or minus five percentage points."

Since I took the liberty of excerpting so much, I urge all who are interested in this story to read Karl Deningers full post on his page - Dick Bove, Bear Stearns, And Controversey. In regards to me, let's contrast my opinions of Lehman and Bear in January of 2008, as opposed to Dick's - Is this the Breaking of the Bear?

Bear Stearns is in Real trouble

Bear Stearns will soon be, if not already, in a fight for its life. It is beset with the possibility of a criminal indictment (no Wall Street firm has ever survived a criminal indictment), additional civil litigation, and client defection and alienation. Despite all of these, the biggest issues don't seem all that prevalent in the media though. Bear Stearns is in a real financial bind due to the assets that it specialized in, and it is not in it by itself, either. For some reason, the Street consistently underestimates the severity of this real estate crash. If you look throughout my blog, it appears as if I have an outstanding track record. I would love to take the credit as superior intelligence, but the reality of the matter is that I just respect the severity of the current housing downturn - something that it appears many analysts, pundits, speculators, and investors have yet to do with aplomb. With a primary value driver linked to the biggest drag on the US economy for the last century or so, Bear Stearn's excessive reliance on highly "modeled" and real asset/mortgage backed products in its portfolio may potentially be its undoing. This is exacerbated significantly by leverage, lack of transparency, and products that are relatively illiquid, even when the mortgage days were good...

Book Value, Schmook Value – How Marking to Market Will Break the Bear’s Back

Okay, I’ll admit it. I watch CNBC. Now that I am out of the confessional, I can say that when I do watch it I hear a lot of perma-bulls stating that this and that stock is cheap because it is trading at or below its book value. They then go on to quote the historical significance of this event, yada, yada, yada. This is then picked up by a bunch of other individual investors, media pundits and other “professionals,” and it appears that rampant buying ensues. I don’t know how much of it is momentum trading versus actual investors really believing they are buying on the fundamentals, but the buying pressure is certainly there. They then lose their money as the stock they thought was cheap, actually gets a lot cheaper, bringing their investment down the crapper with it. What happened in this scenario? These investors bought accounting numbers instead of true economic book value...

Level 2 and Level 3 Assets – Model Risk

Model risk, or the risk of the bank living in a spreadsheet in lieu of the market, has already reared its head in the summer of ’07 with the blow up of two of BSC’s hedge funds, which have left them in litigation with their own customers. Basically, many of the assets of the fund were levered highly, and valued based upon modeled cash flows from assets, and not from the actual tradable value of the assets. This is fine, until you need to liquidate by selling assets. As luck would have it, they found no market they felt was acceptable and were forced to market value down significantly, approaching zero. It has also manifested itself more recently in the recent announcement that they will be moving at least 7 billion dollars to the level three (the most BullSh1+) category. Bear Stearns has recently announced another hedge fund blow up, which doledout significant losses to investors and is attempting liquidation. For my laymen’s plain English take on level 1, 2, and 3 asset accounting, see the Banks, Brokers and Bullsh|+series (Banks, Brokers, & Bullsh1+ part 1 for model risk,).

Level 3 Assets at 231% of Total Equity; Amongst the Highest on Wall Street

Weighted average price (US$)
Methodologies Weight assigned Fair Price Weighted average price
Fair price using P/Adj. BV approach 50.00% 33.84 16.92
Fair price using P/E approach 50.00% 39.00 19.50
Weighted average fair price     36.42
Current price     87.03
Upside from current levels (US$)     -58.2%

 

The book value numbers are after our economic marking and adjustments, of course. The “E” portion of the P/E ration is quite conservative, since the we built model incorporated BSC doing much better during the next 4 fiscal quarters than their peers are reporting for this quarter, and in my opinion BSC will not only fail to match their peers, but underperform due to the loss of their primary value drivers – mortgage derivative and related fixed income products – not to mention their asset management, legal, and litigation distractions as well as client and talent retention issues.

Am I right about the Bear?

Despite the Bear Stearns negative developments, and my opinion of its value, Bear Stearns has managed to find investors as was mentioned earlier in the insider transaction section. These are accomplished and wealthy investors to boot. My concern is that so many astute, accomplished and economically powerful investors have failed to realize and fully appreciate the depth and breadth of the current real asset recession, burst bubble, and quite possibly asset depression we have recently entered. This has destroyed the value of many bottom fishing value investors, both intitutional and retail.

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And this is a summmary of my takes on Lehman Brothers from a similar period:

(February through May 2008): Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise? Thursday, February 21st, 2008 | Web chatter on Lehman Brothers Sunday, March 16th, 2008 (It would appear that Lehman’s hedges are paying off for them. The have the most CMBS and RMBS as a percent of tangible equity on the street following BSC. The question is, “Can they monetize those hedges?”. I’m curious to see how the options on Lehman will be priced tomorrow. I really don’t have enough. Goes to show you how stingy I am. I bought them before Lehman was on anybody’s radar and I was still to cheap to gorge. Now, all of the alarms have sounded and I’ll have to pay up to participate or go in short. There is too much attention focused on Lehman right now. ) | I just got this email on Lehman from my clearing desk Monday, March 17th, 2008 by Reggie Middleton | Lehman stock, rumors and anti-rumors that support the rumors Friday, March 28th, 2008 | May 2008

Now that we've established a small base of potential credibility when it comes to bank failure, back to today and Dick's proclamations on CNBC, let's start with Bank of America, who Dick says won't be affected by European malaise. This is Reggie's take...

Then there's Goldman Sachs, the bank where Reggie is just so loved...

After all, I'm sure there'll be no volatility in the markets if Europe blows up. Then again, even if there is volatility in the markets, Goldman's prop desk can handle it, right? I sure hope you guys don't think I'm being a Dick, do you?

What Was That I Heard About Squids Raising Capital Because They Can't Trade? Well, you guys know where I stand on this, and I have warned you ad nauseum...the Squid Can't Trade!

 

Reggie_Middleton_hunting_the_Squid_Known_As_Goldman_Sachs_GS

 

After all, eventually someone must query, So, When Does 3+5=4? When You Aggregate A Bunch Of Risky Banks & Then Pretend That You Didn't?

I'm Hunting Big Game Today: The Squid On A Spear Tip

Summary: This is the first in a series of articles to be released this weekend concerning Goldman Sachs, the Squid! In this introduction (for those who do not regularly follow me) I demonstrate how the market, the sell side, and most investors are missing one of the biggest bastions of risk in the US investment banking industry. I will also...

Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?

Welcome to part two of my series on Hunting the Squid, the overvaluation and under-appreciation of the risks that is Goldman Sachs. Since this highly analytical, but poignant diatribe covers a lot of material, it's imperative that those who have not done so review part 1 of this series, I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On The Spear Tip, Part...

Hunting the Squid Part 3: Reggie Middleton Serves Up Fried Calamari From Raw Squid

For those who don't subscribe to BoomBustblog, or haven't read I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On The Spear Tip, Part 1 & Introduction and Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?, not only have you missed out on some unique artwork, you've potentially missed out on 300%...

Hunting the Squid, part 4: So, What Else Can Go Wrong With Goldman Sachs? Plenty!

Yes, this more of the hardest hitting investment banking research available focusing on Goldman Sachs (the Squid), but before you go on, be sure you have read parts 1.2. and 3:  I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On A Spear Tip, Part 1 & Introduction Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To...

Hunting the Squid, Part 5: Sometimes Your Local Superhero Doesn't Look Like What They Show You In The Movies

On to the next Banque de Dick... You'd think with Dexia in the news, one would know to either stay clear of JP Morgan or at least subscribe to the BoomBust, eh? CNBC reports today (as highlighted in the introductory graphic) France, Belgium Wrangle About Dexia Deal: Reports. Why is this important? Well, look at why Dexia's in trouble in the first place. In the (must read) post Dexia Sets A $5.1bn Provision For Loss On Trying To Sell The Same Residential Real Estate Assets Upon Which JP Morgan Has Slashed Provisions 83% to $1.2bn from $7.0bn you will find..

...Similarly, many sell-side researchers award stocks “buy” or “overweight” ratings even as their internal asset-management units unload shares, presenting a conflict of interest and ethical dilemma. Goldman’s most famous front-runs to date were the Abacus transactions, through which the bank allegedly postured for high ratings for its mortgage-backed CDOs, sold them to clients and then shorted them.

According to research from the Street.com, Goldman put a Conviction Buy Recommendation on JP Morgan Chase shares and issued it to their clients, and then sold 4,200,009 shares of JPMorgan Chase. At an average of $45/share,  that means that Goldman had a lack of conviction in its own "Conviction Buy" recommendation to the tune of $189,000,405. I'd hate to see what the company would do if they recommended clients sell, or worst yet short sell, stock. Oh yeah! We already know, don't we.

Bloomberg reports: Dexia Takes 3.6 Billion-Euro Charge on Asset Sales

That charge taken by Dexia was more than necessary, and most likely not nearly enough. But wait a minute, why did JP Morgan do the exact opposite regarding the exact same asset class?

Do you remember my recent missive "There’s Something Fishy at the House of Morgan"? Well, in it I queried how it was that JP Morgan can continuously pull risk provisions and reserves to pad quarterly accounting earnings at time when I not only made clear that we are in a real estate depression but the facts actually played out the same. As excerpted from the aforementioned article:

I invite all to peruse the mainstream financial media and sell side Wall Street's take on JP Morgan's Q1 earnings before reading through my take. Pray thee tell me, why is there such a distinct difference? Below are excerpts from the our review of JP Morgan's Q1 results, available to paying subscribers (including valuation and scenario analysis): File Icon JPM Q1 2011 Review & Analysis.

'Nuff said! Let's move over to Morgan Stanley... The Truth Is Revealed About The Riskiest Bank On The Street - What Does That Say About The Newest Bank To Carry That Title? You know, I'm still quite bearish on Asian, European and American banks. Just look at the facts as they're laid before you...

There's another headline with Cramer's opinion on RIMM, which brings me to mind of all of the flack that I got when I said RIMM was bust as it traded in teh 60's and 70's (currently quoted at about $17). See As Forecast Last Year and Clearly Demonstrated This Year, Research in Motion's Problems Are Far From Over:

Research in Motion has been one of the most successful tech shorts of this blog's history (thus far). We first recommended a short last year and reiterated it in the fist quarter of this year. Reference:

    1. BoomBustBlog Research Performs a RIM Job!

    2. BoomBustBlog's Fundamental/Forensic Analysis of Research in Motion Has Returned 2x-3x Original Investment This Year!!

This is a snapshot of RIMM as of the writing of this article...

image002

As you can see, the results have been spectacular, particular if well timed puts have been put to use. In January I posted:

I don't want to pick on just the Dicks on Wall Street. I'm willing to challenge the entire sell side as a whole. I hit hard...

We believe Reggie Middleton and his team at the BoomBust bests ALL of Wall Street's sell side research: Did Reggie Middleton, a Blogger at BoomBustBlog, Best Wall Streets Best of the Best?

 Feel free to subsrcibe to BoomBustBlog or follow me via the following channels...

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Published in BoomBustBlog

CNBC reports: France and Germany Clash Over ECB Crisis Role

France and Germany, Europe's two central powers, have stepped up their war of words over whether the European Central Bank should intervene more forcefully to halt the euro zone's debt crisis after modest bond purchases failed to calm markets. 

Facing rising borrowing costs as its 'AAA' credit rating comes under threat, France urged stronger ECB action, adding to mounting global pressure spelled out by U.S. President Barack Obama.

BoomBustBlog readers and subscribers saw this coming a mile away. The Duopoly that ruled the economics of the EU have divergent needs now, hence divergent interests. Expect this to get worse in the near term. The reasons have been spelled out in Italy’s Woes Spell ‘Nightmare’ for BNP - Just As I Predicted But Everybody Is Missing The Point!!! You see, France, As Most Susceptible To Contagion, Will See Its Banks Suffer because stress in the Italian bond markets will be a direct cause of a French bank run - with the largest of the French banks running the hardest BNP, the Fastest Running Bank In Europe? Banque BNP Exécuter. For those who don't follow me regularly, I warned subscribers on BNP due to the Greco-Italiano risk factor causing a liquidity run born from imminent writedowns. No one from the sell side apparently had a clue. Reference the series:

The Italian problems were brought to the Attention of BoomBustBlog subscribers over a year and a half ago (subscribers reference  Italy public finances projection from March of 2010) and each of the major Italian banks undergoing major distress righ now were identified and outlined over a year and a half ago as well, when their share prices were multiples of what they are now. Subscribers should reference Italian Banking Macro-Fundamental Discussion Note.Long term puts and shorts on these banks (you could've simply closed your eyes and picked two or three) would have made any fund manager's year. Those who don't subscribe can still see the aftermath, after the fact, as referenced by Bloomberg... UniCredit Trades as Junk With $51B Due

Bonds of UniCredit SpA (UCG), the Italian bank that posted a surprise 10.6 billion-euro ($14.3 billion) third-quarter loss this week, are trading as junk as the lender prepares to refinance $51 billion of debt coming due next year.

Fixed-income investors are pricing the Milan-based lender’s bonds at levels that imply a rating of B1, four levels below investment grade and eight steps lower than its A2 ranking, according to Moody’s Analytics. The 13.4 billion euros of UniCredit debt securities that are contained in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Euro Corporates Banking index have lost 2.8 billion euros since the start of June.

UniCredit, Italy’s biggest bank, has the highest amount of bonds maturing in 2012 by a major European lender, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Concern that Italy will struggle to cut Europe’s second-highest debt load and tame the sovereign crisis drove the country’s debt yields to euro-era records, infecting UniCredit’s 40 billion euros of Italian bonds.

Yeah, right! "Surprise" , "loss". Interesting terms considering the warning was given a year and a half ago. Those damn non-BoomBustBlog subscribers... So, where goes Italy, so follows France...After Warning Of Italy Woes Nearly Two Years Ago, No One Should Be Surprised As It Implodes Bringing The EU With It - or  Focus on Greece? No! How About Italy? No! It's About Baguettes, Mes Amis! See also, When French bankers gorge on roasting PIIGS - OR - Can You Fool Everybody All Of The Time?

The Catch 22 is that Germany's woes are not that far detached from France's, yet it appears that they do not see this. I reiterate, then query again - Italy’s Woes Spell ‘Nightmare’ for BNP - Just As I Predicted But Everybody Is Missing The Point!!! This is a Pan-European sovereign debt crisis, not a southern or western European sovereign debt crisis. The countries fates are inextricably linked.

And for those who believe what Fed Member Bullshitterard said, at least according to CNBC: European Debt Crisis Unlikely to Impact US: Fed's Bullard, I refer you to my extended, self-answered query, "Is The Entire Global Banking Industry Carrying Naked, Unhedged "Risk Free" Sovereign Debt Yielding 100-200%? Quick Answer: Probably! " I place this stamp on Bullard's comments...

grade_a_bullshit_alert_trans

If you really want to know the truth, simply read my post from yesterday, Squids, Morgans & Counterparty Risk: Blowing Up The World One Tentacle At A Time

Bond market turmoil is spreading across Europe. Italian 10-year bond yields have risen above 7 percent, unaffordable in the long term. Yields on bonds issued by France, the Netherlands and Austria — which along with Germany form the core of the euro zone — have also climbed.

Asian shares and the euro fell further on Thursday as doubts deepened about Europe's ability to stop its sovereign debt crisis from spinning out of control.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2 percent, while Japan's Nikkei stock average opened down 0.5 percent.

The euro  hovered near five-week lows against the dollar, trading not far off Wednesday's trough around $1.3430, a low not seen since Oct. 10.

"The ECB's role is to ensure the stability of the euro, but also the financial stability of Europe. We trust that the ECB will take the necessary measures to ensure financial stability in Europe," French government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse said after a cabinet meeting in Paris.

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin repeated Paris's view that the euro zone's EFSF bailout fund should have a banking license, something Berlin opposes. Such a move would allow the fund to borrow from the ECB, giving it extra firepower to fight the spreading crisis.

"The position of France ... is that the way to prevent contagion is for the EFSF to have a banking license," Baroin said on the sidelines of an awards ceremony.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear Berlin would resist pressure for the central bank to take a bigger role in resolving the debt crisis, saying European Union rules prohibited such action.

"The way we see the treaties, the ECB doesn't have the possibility of solving these problems," she said after talks with visiting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

The only way to recover markets' confidence was to implement agreed economic reforms and build a closer European political union by changing the EU treaty, Merkel said.

ECB policymakers continue to reject international calls to intervene decisively as Europe's lender of last resort, stressing that it is up to governments to resolve the debt crisis through austerity measures and reforms.

However, many analysts believe such a move now represents the only way to stem the contagion, despite the potential risk of inflation from printing money.

Short Respite

Traders said the ECB bought Spanish and Italian bonds on Wednesday, but the respite was short and there was no sign of a change in its policy of limited, stop-go purchases to calm markets temporarily while maintaining pressure on governments.

Fitch Ratings warned it might lower its "stable" rating outlook for U.S. banks because of contagion from problems in troubled European markets. 

But didn't Fitch here what Fed Member Bullshitterard said??? What's the problem? Are those Fitch guys reading BoomBustBlog now??? Tired of the HPA non-sense (as in [residential] housing perpetual price appreciation). Yep! Those guys from Fitch justified their AAA ratings on Bullshit based upon the concept of prices in housing increasing at XX% per year, FOREVAAAAH!!!! You thought I forget about that, guys???

grade_a_bullshit_alert_trans

Back to CNBC's article...

The size and mood of the rally, the first big protest in almost a month, will signal just how bitterly a restive public will fight further tax rises and spending cuts that international lenders demand in return for a massive bailout.

Greece's main conservative leader Antonis Samaras has refused to bow to EU demands for a written commitment to the bailout program and called for elections in three months to restore social peace.

New data showed that Greece's austerity-fuelled recession had widened the budget deficit in October, the government failing to boost revenues despite unpopular new taxes.

ECB President Mario Draghi has said the 17-nation currency bloc will be in a mild recession by the end of the year, making it tougher for governments to put their finances in order, and Europe's debt crisis is also increasing strains in the money market, the plumbing of the international financial system.

Euro zone banks are finding it harder to obtain dollar funding. While the stresses are nowhere the levels of the 2008 financial crisis, they have continued to mount despite ECB moves to provide unlimited liquidity to banks.

Published in BoomBustBlog

I was going to walk my blog subscribers and readers through my recent thoughts and related developments in the insurance and real estate industries, but I think I will postpone that until tomorrow for two companies that I have picked apart in considerably more detail than the average buyside investor and sell side analyst were featured in Bloomberg this morning. The questions asked forced one to query whether more than an editor or two are full time BoomBustBlog subscribers. Yes, boys and girls... Like it, love it, leave it or hate it... It's now time to get back to business. We are once again...

Reggie_Middleton_hunting_the_Squid_Known_As_Goldman_Sachs_GS

and attempting to gain a green card for our entrance into the "Economic Republic of JP Morgan..."

 image001.png

Bloomberg reports (and Reggie clarifies): JPMorgan Joins Goldman Keeping Italy Debt Risk in Dark

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), among the world’s biggest traders of credit derivatives, disclosed to shareholders that they have sold protection on more than $5 trillion of debt globally.

BoomBustBlog annotation...

As excerpted from An Independent Look into JP Morgan:

When considering the staggering level of derivatives employed by JPM, it is frightening to even consider the fact that the quality of JPM's derivative exposure is even worse than Bear Stearns and Lehman‘s derivative portfolio just prior to their fall. Total net derivative exposure rated below BBB and below for JP Morgan currently stands at 35.4% while the same stood at 17.0% for Bear Stearns (February 2008) and 9.2% for Lehman (May 2008). We all know what happened to Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, don't we??? I warned all about Bear Stearns (Is this the Breaking of the Bear?: On Sunday, 27 January 2008) and Lehman ("Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise?": On February 20th, 2008) months before their collapse by taking a close, unbiased look at their balance sheet. Both of these companies were rated investment grade at the time, just like "you know who". Now, I am not saying JPM is about to collapse, since it is one of the anointed ones chosen by the government and guaranteed not to fail - unlike Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and it is (after all) investment grade rated. Who would you put your faith in, the big ratings agencies or your favorite blogger? Then again, if it acts like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, is it a chicken??? I'll leave the rest up for my readers to decide.

And as excerpted from Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?

Goldman has the most shortable share price of all the big banks at around $100 and is quite liquid; it is more susceptible to mo-mo traders than it is to it's own book value, it is highly levered into the European debt/banking mess, and last but not least, Goldman is the derivatives risk concentration leader of the world - bar none!

And now back to our regularly scheduled Bloomberg article on World Dominating Squids Wielding GDP busting Morgan Explosives with indeterminate fuses...

Just don’t ask them how much of that was issued by Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, known as the GIIPS.

As concerns mount that those countries may not be creditworthy, investors are being kept in the dark about how much risk U.S. banks face from a default. Firms including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan don’t provide a full picture of potential losses and gains in such a scenario, giving only net numbers or excluding some derivatives altogether.

“If you don’t have to, generally people don’t see the advantage to doing it,” said Richard Lindsey, a former director of market regulation at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission who worked at Bear Stearns Cos. from 1999 through 2006. “On the other hand, if there were a run on Goldman Sachs tomorrow because the rumor was that they had exposure to Greece, you’d see them produce those numbers.”

A run on the SQUID??? God Forbid! After all, they are doing God's work! In Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?" I included a graphic that illustrated Goldman's raw credit exposure...

So, what is the logical conclusion? More phallic looking charts of blatant, unbridled, and from a realistic perspective, unhedged RISK starring none other than Goldman Sachs...

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Mr. Middleton discusses JP Morgan and concentrated bank risk.

A case in point: Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF), the New York-based securities firm, disclosed every long and short position it held on European debt earlier this month after its shares plunged more than 20 percent. Jefferies also said it wasn't relying on credit-default swaps, contracts that promise to pay the buyer if the underlying debt defaults, as a hedge on European holdings.

One would hope not, because ISDA and the EU leaders want to invalidate those bilateral, privately negotiated contracts, basically making them worth just a little less than the hard drive they were saved to... As excerpted from Is The Entire Global Banking Industry Carrying Naked, Unhedged "Risk Free" Sovereign Debt Yielding 100-200%? Quick Answer: Probably!

What's even more interesting is the fact that derivatives concentration and counterparty risk is rampant in the US, while credit risk in Europe is literally blowing up. What if CDS really are a faux hedge as I and other astute (read objective) observers have come to realize? ReferenceThe Banks Have Volunteered (at Gunpoint)…

... let's peruse an email I received from one of my many astute BoomBustBloggers.

I'm a lawyer (and investor). There is no analysis by anyone on the Internet about whether the announcement last night would in fact trigger CDS payout. Rather, everyone seems to be accepting the claim by ISDA that the decision would not trigger it. Because I can't find any legal analysis worth reading on the Internet I decided to do my own research. In about 5 minutes I found a case in the 2nd Circuit (USA) that explained to me what's going on with those contracts. First of all, they are unregulated private contracts between private parties. In order to know whether a trigger occurred you have to read each individual contract. As a result, what the ISDA says about whether a trigger occurred as to private contracts that are out there is totally meaningless.

There is merit to this assertion since the ISDA contract is simply a non-binding template, often marked up to accommodate financial engineering widgets designed to increase profit margin and decrease transparency to clients and counterparties. By the time all of the widgets are installed on some of these highly customized deals, the original ISDA template is a non-issue.

What seems to be the issue is whether there is considered to be "economic coercion" going on if one of the events to trigger is "restructuring." 

Whaaattt!!! Coercion? What Coercion???!!! robbery_gun_1robbery_gun_1

 Furthermore, you have to not look at voluntariness in a vacuum but compare the (Greek) bond with the substitute being offered by EU to determine if economic coercion or true voluntariness exists. For example, if the EU will give priority in payment to the substitute it is offering and not the original bond, that is the proper analysis in determining economic coercion/voluntariness etc. My analysis here is based upon a very brief reading of the case and I would need time to analysis fully. Also I'm not a financial professional I don't understand all the implications of what the EU announced. The reason I'm contacting you is because I believe that in the coming days/weeks we will hear of entities that are buyers of the CDS protection giving notice of a credit event to their counterparties to seek to collect on the CDS contract. If payouts aren't made lawsuits will be filed. 

You had better believe it. I really don't know why everybody is glazing over this very obvious fact! Imagine if you bought protection on a bond you acquired at par and you are offered 50% of it back (NPV) to be considered whole while the CDS writer laughs at and says thanks for the premiums... You'd probably break your fingers dialing your lawyer - out of both the swap payments, the CDS payout, and 50% of your investment that you thought (but really should have known better) was protected!

I don't know what a US Court will decide as to whether a trigger has occurred but there is a 2nd circuit case (the one I mentioned above) that is the best I've found to give an inkling about this... I'm telling you all this, because if I am right and there are claims that CDS was triggered and CDS in fact gets triggered... [it should be made] public so people start analyzing whether CDS was in fact triggered instead of blindly accepting the drivel out of Europe that no trigger will occur. That claim is obviously all about perception management not necessarily truth.

‘Funded’ Exposure

By contrast, Goldman Sachs discloses only what it calls “funded” exposure to GIIPS debt -- $4.16 billion before hedges and $2.46 billion after, as of Sept. 30. Those amounts exclude commitments or contingent payments, such as credit-default swaps, said Lucas van Praag, a spokesman for the bank.

Goldman Sachs includes CDS in its market-risk calculations, of which value-at-risk is one measure, and it hedges the swaps and holds collateral against the hedges, primarily cash and U.S. Treasuries, van Praag said. The firm doesn’t break out its estimate of the market risk related to the five countries.

JPMorgan said in its third-quarter SEC filing that more than 98 percent of the credit-default swaps the New York-based bank has written on GIIPS debt is balanced by CDS contracts purchased on the same bonds. The bank said its net exposure was no more than $1.5 billion, with a portion coming from debt and equity securities. The company didn’t disclose gross numbers or how much of the $1.5 billion came from swaps, leaving investors wondering whether the notional value of CDS sold could be as high as $150 billion or as low as zero.

Yeah, but if the EU and ISDA are correct that a 60% devaluation/haircut in Greek debt does not constitute a credit event, then JPM and GS are essentially undhedged, RIGHT!!!!????

Here's the question du jour - Can Goldmans Sachs Derivative Exposure, realistically unhedged, cause the biggest run on the bank in Financial History?

As excerpted from Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?

The notional amount of derivatives held by insured U.S. commercial banks have increased at a CAGR of 22% since 2005, which naturally begs the question “Has the value or the economic quantity of the underlying increased at a similar pace, and if not does this indicate that everyone on the street has doubled and tripled up their ‘bets’ on the SAME HORSE?”

Think about what happens if (or more aptly put, "when") that horse loses! Would there be anybody around to pay up?

Sequentially, the derivatives have increased every quarter since Q1-05 except for Q4-07, Q3-08 (Lehman crisis) and Q4-10 while on a YoY basis the growth has been positive throughout recorded history.  In Q2-2011, the notional value of derivative contracts increased 2% sequentially to $249 trillion. The notional value of derivatives was 12% higher than a year ago. The notional amount of a derivative contract is a reference amount from which contractual payments will be derived, but it is generally not an amount at risk. However, the changes in notional volumes can provide insight into potential revenue, and operational issues and potentially the contagion risk that banks and financial institutions poses to the wider economy – particularly in the form of counterparty risk delta. The top four banks with the most derivatives activity hold 94% of all derivatives, while the largest 25 banks account for nearly 100% of all contracts.  Overall, the US banks derivative exposure is $249 trillion and is more than four folds of World’s GDP at $58 trillion.

In absolute terms, JPM leads this list with total notional value of derivative contracts at $78 trillion, or 1.3x times the Wolds GDP. However, in relative terms, Goldman Sachs leads the list with total value of notional derivatives at 537 times is total assets compared with 44x for JPM, 46x for Citi and 23x for US Banks (average).

So, what does this mean? Well, it should be assumed that Goldman is well hedged for its exposure, at least on academic basis. The problem is its academic. AIG has taught as that bilateral netting is tantamount to bullshit at this level without government bailout intervention. If there is any entity at risk of counterparty default or who is at the behest of a government bailout if the proverbial feces hits the fan blades… Ladies and gentlemen, that entity would be known as Goldman Sachs.

As excerpted from Goldmans Sachs Derivative Exposure: The Squid in the Coal Mine?, pages 2 and 3...

GS__Banks_Derivatives_exposure_temp_work_Page_2GS__Banks_Derivatives_exposure_temp_work_Page_2

Goldman is much more highly leveraged into the derivatives trade than ANY and ALL of its peers as to actually be difficult to chart. That stalk representing Goldman's risk relative to EVERY OTHER banks is damn near phallic in stature!

GS__Banks_Derivatives_exposure_temp_work_Page_3GS__Banks_Derivatives_exposure_temp_work_Page_3

As opined earlier through the links "The Next Step in the Bank Implosion Cycle???"and As the markets climb on top of one big, incestuous pool of concentrated risk... , this is not a new phenomenon. Quite to the contrary, it has been a constant trend through the bubble, and amazingly enough even through the crash as banks have actually ratcheted up risk and assets in a blind race to become TBTF (to big to fail), under the auspices of the regulatory capture (see Lehman Dies While Getting Away With Murder: Introducing Regulatory Capture). So, what is the logical conclusion? More phallic looking charts of blatant, unbridled, and from a realistic perspective, unhedged RISK starring none other than Goldman Sachs...

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And to think, many thought that JPM exposure vs World GDP chart was provocative. I query thee, exactly how will GS put a real workable hedge, a counterparty risk mitigating prophylactic if you will, over that big green stalk that is representative of Total Credit Exposure to Risk Based Capital? Short answer, Goldman may very well be to big for a counterparty condom. If that's truly the case, all of you pretty, brand name Goldman counterparties out there (and yes, there are a lot of y'all - GS really gets around), expect to get burned at the culmination of that French banking party I've been talking about for the last few quarters. Oh yeah, that perpetually printing clinic also known as the Federal Reserve just might be running a little low on that cheap liquidity antibiotic... Just giving y'all a heads up ahead of time...

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Do you remember France? That country that no on is really paying attention to, but whose exposure and risk is so systemic that it can literally and unilaterally blow up the entire European continent? I post again, for effect...

In a further worrying sign, French borrowing costs rose, lifting the premium it pays over Germany to a fresh euro-era record of 135bp. Investors are increasingly worried that France could lose its triple A rating, which in turn would threaten the status of the European financial stability facility, the eurozone’s rescue fund.

Counterparty Clarity

“Their position is you don’t need to know the risks, which is why they’re giving you net numbers,” said Nomi Prins, a managing director at New York-based Goldman Sachs until she left in 2002 to become a writer. “Net is only as good as the counterparties on each side of the net -- that’s why it’s misleading in a fluid, dynamic market.”

This is so true... So true. Lest we forget, Lehman and Bear Stearns were hedged!

Investors should want to know how much defaulted debt the banks could be forced to repay because of credit derivatives and how much they’d be in line to receive from other counterparties, Prins said. In addition, they should seek to find out who those counterparties are, she said.

Hey, just ask your local BoomBustBlog subscriber!

JPMorgan sought to allay concerns that its counterparties are unreliable by saying in the filing that it buys protection only from firms outside the five countries that are “either investment-grade or well-supported by collateral arrangements.” The bank doesn’t identify the counterparties.

Spare me the bullshit. Please click the link "Is The Entire Global Banking Industry Carrying Naked, Unhedged "Risk Free" Sovereign Debt Yielding 100-200%? Quick Answer: Probably!" and read..

The top four banks with the most derivatives activity hold 94% of all derivatives, while the largest 25 banks account for nearly 100% of all contracts.  Overall, the US banks derivative exposure is $249 trillion and is more than four folds of World’s GDP at $58 trillion.

If there are only 4 banks carrying 94% of the risk, then there is roughly a 6% chance that JPM bought protection from a bank outside of a cartel that is guaranteed to collapse if anyone its members fall. To make matters even worse, even if we win with only 6% odds, contagion will drag those other 25 banks along for the ride. Basically, that means that there is rougly a 100% chance that that JPM statement is...

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Bungee Cords

If the value of Italian bonds drops, as it did last week, a U.S. firm that sold a credit-default swap on that debt to a French bank would have to provide more collateral. The same U.S. company might be collecting collateral from a British bank because it bought a swap from that firm.

As long as all three banks can make good on their promises, the trade doesn’t have much risk. It could all unravel if the British firm runs into trouble because it’s waiting for a payment from an Italian company that defaults. The collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008 demonstrated some of the ripple effects that one failure can have in the market.

“We learned from Lehman that all of these firms are tied together with bungee cords -- you can’t just lift one out without it affecting everyone else in the group,” said Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York who previously worked at Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley. More disclosure “may push the stock prices down when it becomes clear how big the bungee cords are. But it certainly would be a welcome addition for an analyst.”

BoomBustBlog subscribers covered this scenario months ago.

Italy has a funding issue that nobody was able to foresee, right? Wrong! After Warning Of Italy Woes Nearly Two Years Ago, No One Should Be Surprised As It Implodes Bringing The EU With It

France is heavily levered into Italy and Franco-Italiano fortunes are closely linked, right? Italy’s Woes Spell ‘Nightmare’ for BNP - Just As I Predicted But Everybody Is Missing The Point!!!

American banks (like Goldman) are on the hook for protecting the damn near doomed French banks right?  French Banks Can Set Off Contagion That Will Make Central Bankers Long For The Good 'Ole Lehman Collapse Days!

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But in the end of one, or two, three big banks go down, it's basically a giant pan-global clusterfuck, no?

"The Next Step in the Bank Implosion Cycle???"and As the markets climb on top of one big, incestuous pool of concentrated risk... 

Guarantees provided by U.S. lenders on government, bank and corporate debt in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain rose by $80.7 billion to $518 billion in the first half of 2011, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

‘Longs and Shorts’

“We either have netting agreements, or they foot, or they cancel each other out, or they’re longs and shorts on the same instrument,” he said, answering a question about how the firm manages so many contracts in a crisis. “The only way you can run a business like that is to have these systems work so they can aggregate stuff, so you can run the business on a macro basis, and also so you can get the details quickly if you need them. And that’s all systems and technology.”

Lindsey, the former SEC official who’s now president of New York-based Callcott Group LLC, which consults on markets and market operations, said few firms have systems that can portray their real-time exposure to trading partners.

“That’s very difficult for any firm to have a good handle on all of that -- you know large positions and you know what certain positions are, but to be able to say I’ve adequately aggregated all of my long exposure and all of my short exposure to a specific counterparty may be very difficult,” Lindsey said. “I don’t know of a firm where it’s not pulled together by a phone call, where somebody says, ‘OK, we need to know our exposure to X,’ and a lot of people stop their day jobs and try to find an answer.”

‘Needlessly Cause Reaction’

Lindsey said banks may be wary of disclosures that could confuse investors. Figures such as gross notional exposure -- the total amount of debt insured by credit derivatives -- give investors an exaggerated sense of the risk and could “needlessly cause reaction,” he said.

Other methods, such as stress-testing, scenario analysis or so-called value-at-risk estimates, rely on models that may underestimate risk because historical data on sovereign defaults show them to be unlikely.

“If you’re looking at your exposure to a defaulting sovereign, there’s a relatively low frequency rate,” Lindsey said. “So it really depends on what they’ve done internally to back up their ideas of what their assessment of the probability of default is.”

"...Give investors an exaggerated sense of the risk and could “needlessly cause reaction...

"...historical data on sovereign defaults show them to be unlikely..."

"...If you’re looking at your exposure to a defaulting sovereign, there’s a relatively low frequency rate"

BUULLLLSHIIITTT!!!

 bullshit-bag

I know these Goldilocks guys may not mean any harm, but do they know what happened to the Bull that Shitted too much?dead_bull_run


I query, How Long Does It Take For Losing Money To Result In Lost Money? The Effects Of Rampant Bond Selling on Devalued Sovereign Debt

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But including losses on Spanish, Italian, Irish and Portuguese capital losses realized upon disposition, and the ongoing losses on Greek debt, what then????

You see, the truly under appreciate problem here is that the private banks rampant selling is driving down the prices of already highly distressed and rapidly devaluing bonds. Reference Bloomberg's European Banks Selling Sovereign Bond Holdings Threatens to Worsen Crisis.

Those trillions in swaps are "guaranteed" to get called on!

More from Reggie Middleton...

The Street's Most Intellectually Aggressive Analysis: We've Found What Bank of America Hid In Your Bank Account!

This Bank Is Much Worse Than the Rest and the (Guaranteed?) Bust Will Probably Be Funded Right Out Of Your Bank Account!

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

What Was That I Heard About Squids Raising Capital Because They Can't Trade?

ZeroHedge Is Good In Uncovering BS, But I Will Not Be Outdone In Busting BS Bank Reporting - I Simply Refuse, Right BNP?

BNP, the Fastest Running Bank In Europe? Banque BNP Exécuter

 
Published in BoomBustBlog

Bloomberg reports Goldman Traders Lost Money 21 Days in 3Q:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), which relied on trading for 62 percent of revenue so far this year, recorded losses from that business on 21 days in the third quarter, the most since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The firm’s traders lost more than $100 million on one of the days, according to the New York-based company’s quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They produced more than $100 million on nine days out of 64 total days in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, the filing showed.

Well, you guys know where I stand on this, and I have warned you ad nauseum...the Squid Can't Trade!

thumb_image001_copyLearning to fly with tentacles instead of wings may prove difficult for the Squid!

Note: Subscribers can download the GS 3rd quarter review with the updated valuation opinion hereicon Goldman Sachs Q3 update Final (482.35 kB 2011-11-03 03:03:51)

In our Goldman Sachs update note, “Show me how to trade” (August 2011), we challenged Goldman Sachs’ ability to create alpha. Besides Goldman’s apparent lack of skill in generating returns in downward markets, we also presented an analysis on how its share price is driven by momentum (equity markets) instead of the commonly accepted metric of book value. Those who would have followed the traditional school of thought (sell side) by bidding the price up instead of down would have seen their capital erode by 9%; the stock is down 9% since our most recent publication. Below are some of the extracts from our previous note alongside updated charts including Q3 results to peruse before we delve further into the quarterly results the BoomBustBlog way.

Bloomberg also reports Goldman Has $2.3B ‘Funded’ Credit Exposure to Italy which is probably why they are also reporting Goldman Sachs Said to Raise $1.1 Billion From ICBC Stake Sale. Bascially, it's time to rasie some capital. After all, BoomBustBlogger subscribers saw this coming 4 months ago.

As excerpted from Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?

So, what is the logical conclusion? More phallic looking charts of
blatant, unbridled, and from a realistic perspective, unhedged RISK
starring none other than Goldman Sachs...

 image006image006

And to think, many thought that JPM exposure vs World GDP chart was
provocative. I query thee, exactly how will GS put a real workable
hedge, a counterparty risk mitigating prophylactic if you will, over
that big green stalk that is representative of Total Credit Exposure to
Risk Based Capital? Short answer, Goldman may very well be to big for a
counterparty condom. If that's truly the case, all of you pretty, brand name Goldman counterparties
out there (and yes, there are a lot of y'all - GS really gets around),
expect to get burned at the culmination of that French banking party
I've been talking about for the last few quarters. Oh yeah, that
perpetually printing clinic also known as the Federal Reserve just might
be running a little low on that cheap liquidity antibiotic... Just
giving y'all a heads up ahead of time...

image009

There's plenty more where that came from....

I'm Hunting Big Game Today: The Squid On A Spear Tip

I demonstrate how the market,
the sell side, and most investors are missing one of the biggest
bastions of risk in the US investment banking industry. I will also...

 

Hunting the Squid Part 3: Reggie Middleton Serves Up Fried Calamari From Raw Squid

Hunting the Squid, part 4: So, What Else Can Go Wrong With Goldman Sachs? Plenty!

Hunting the Squid, Part 5: Sometimes Your Local Superhero Doesn't Look Like What They Show You In The Movies


 

Published in BoomBustBlog

Summary from Barclays Capital inst sales:

1) At this point, it seems Italy is now mathematically beyond point of no return
2) While reforms are necessary, in and of itself not be enough to prevent crisis
3) Reason? Simple math--growth and austerity not enough to offset cost of debt
4) On our ests, yields above 5.5% is inflection point where game is over
5) The danger:high rates reinforce stability concerns, leading to higher rates
6) and deeper conviction of a self sustaining credit event and eventual default
7) We think decisions at eurozone summit is step forward but EFSF not adequate
8) Time has run out--policy reforms not sufficient to break neg mkt dynamics
9) Investors do not have the patience to wait for austerity, growth to work
10) And rate of change in negatives not enuff to offset slow drip of positives
11) Conclusion: We think ECB needs to step up to the plate, print and buy bonds
12) At the moment ECB remains unwilling to be lender last resort on scale needed
13) But frankly will have hand forced by market given massive systemic risk

All seem to be missing the point! I have been warning since early 2010 Pan-European sovereign debt crisis! I warned of BNP in June, with very accurate reseach reports and models available to subscribers - BNP, the Fastest Running Bank In Europe? Banque BNP Exécuter. Despite all this, I fear the greater picture is being missed by most.

At the risk of sounding overbearing, Italy heard the fat lady acapella last year, it's just that no one was listening. BoomBustBlog Subscribers should reference  Italy public finances projection from March of 2010. The killer is that France is inexoriably leveraged into Italy through its banks. If Italy defaults (and it will) it literally breaks the French banking system. All BoomBustBlog followers have read this - Wednesday, 03 August 2011 - France, As Most Susceptble To Contagion, Will See Its Banks Suffer

Now when (and not if, but when) French banks fail, France will both get downgraded and be forced to bail out - once again. They will have to choose between bailing out Greece, Portugal and Ireland - or themselves. I'll leave it up to you which is the most probable path.

Once the inevitable happens, then the Faux Caucus-Franco bailout mechanism that was suppose to support the unsupportable collapses in throught as it had already collapsed in reality. The result? Everybody should then realize that those risk free Bunds are risky as hell because they are backed by a net export nation (Germany) that will have nobody to export to, and spend much of its economic output bailing out the unbailable, or running from said entities.

Things are much, much worse than many are making it out to be.

Saturday, 23 July 2011 The Anatomy Of A European Bank Run: Look At The Banking Situation BEFORE The Run Occurs!: I detail how I see modern bank runs unfolding

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

I identify specific bank run candidates and offer illustrative trade setups to capture alpha from such an event. The options quoted were unfortunately unavailable to American investors, and enjoyed a literal explosion in gamma and implied volatility. Not to fear, fruits of those juicy premiums were able to be tasted elsewhere as plain vanilla shorts and even single stock futures threw off insane profits.

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 France, As Most Susceptble To Contagion, Will See Its Banks Suffer

In case the hint was strong enough, I explicitly state that although the sell side and the media are looking at Greece sparking Italy, it is France and french banks in particular that risk bringing the Franco-Italia make-believe capitalism session, aka the French leveraged Italian sector of the Euro ponzi scheme down, on its head.

I then provide a deep dive of the French bank we feel is most at risk. Let it be known that every banked remotely referenced by this research has been halved (at a mininal) in share price! Most are down ~10% of more today, alone!

Published in BoomBustBlog