This Real Estate Bubble, Like Some Relat…

28-03-2017 Hits:258 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

This Real Estate Bubble, Like Some Relationships, Is Complicated...

CNBC reports US home prices rise 5.9 percent to 31-month high in January according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller. This puts the 20 city index close to an all time high, including...

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Bloomberg Chimes In With My Warnings As …

28-03-2017 Hits:429 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Bloomberg Chimes In With My Warnings As Landlords Offer First Time Ever Concessions to Retail Renters

Over the last quarter I've been warning about the significant weakness in retailers and the retail real estate that most occupy (links supplied below). Now, Bloomberg reports: Manhattan Landlords Are Offering...

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Our Apple Analysis This Week - This Comp…

27-03-2017 Hits:628 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Our Apple Analysis This Week - This Company Is Not What Most Think It IS

We will releasing our Apple forensic analysis and valuation this week for subscribers (click here to subscribe - lowest tier is the same as a Netflix subscription). As can be...

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The Country's First Newly Elected Lame D…

27-03-2017 Hits:1011 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Country's First Newly Elected Lame Duck President Will Cause Massive Reversal Of Speculative Gains

Note: Subscribers should reference  the paywall material here for stocks that should give a good risk/reward scenario for bearish trades. The Trump administration's legislative outlook is effectively a political desert, with...

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Sears Finally Throws In The Towel Exactl…

22-03-2017 Hits:1903 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Sears Finally Throws In The Towel Exactly When I Predicted "has ‘substantial doubt’ about its future"

My prediction of Sears collapsing once interest rates started ticking upwards was absolutely on point.

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The Transformation of Television in Amer…

21-03-2017 Hits:2152 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Transformation of Television in America and Worldwide

TV has changed more in the past 10 years than it has since it's inception nearly 100 years ago This change is profound, and the primary benefactors look and act...

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It's the Real Estate Crash That I Warned…

20-03-2017 Hits:2655 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

It's the Real Estate Crash That I Warned You About (again)

I've issued several warnings late last year warning of the real estate bubble peaking and popping. I feel I'm especially qualified to do such since I quite accurately called the...

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When It Comes Time To Show and Prove, Eq…

20-03-2017 Hits:2244 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

When It Comes Time To Show and Prove, Equity Markets May Drop Hard

The markets have gotten euphoric since the Trump election, apparently because someone believed what he was selling. Take a look at the broad market jump (powered greatly by the bank...

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So, Brexit Is Now Almost Official. Is Th…

20-03-2017 Hits:1188 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Note: All downloadable legacy content is for subscribers only. We currently have a sale for $11 per month for basic access. Professional subscribers are now evevated to have direct access...

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In Less Than Two Weeks, Another Bitcoin …

17-03-2017 Hits:3137 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

In Less Than Two Weeks, Another Bitcoin ETF Faces SEC Deadline - It's Denial Is NOT A Bearish Event

LedgerX's "SOLIDX BITCOIN TRUST" has an approval deadline this March 30th, 2017.If it is approved, Bitcoin is due for one hell of a bump, but...  

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The Fed Raises Rates While Still Baby Fe…

17-03-2017 Hits:2841 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Fed Raises Rates While Still Baby Feeding the MBS Market With Billions in Monthly Purchases

The Fed has raised rates, officially making real what was mere signaling of the end of its expansionary era... Or is it? You see, from a practical perspective, QE is...

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A Bitcoin ETF or Similar Regulated Insti…

16-03-2017 Hits:3417 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

A Bitcoin ETF or Similar Regulated Institutional Vehicle is a Forgone Conclusion - What Happens Next?

Someone with over 53 years on Wall Street sent me this article from Lex of the Financial Times...

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Let's see here. The company is the largest MBS underwriter and the smallest bulge bracket bank on the street (the bank that had the #1 spot was just taken under). The company has hit the capital markets twice and the Fed window once to access capital to (Ahem!) "prove to the market that it has liquidity" and for "testing purposes only". They then take this money that they got from the suckers, oops, investors and buy their own stock with it. Is that what those suck.. I mean investors had in mind for that money?

The company alleges short sellers conspired to drive their stock down, so they went on the PR warpath to fight these (us) bad guys. Instead of opening up their books to prove them they (I) am wrong, they try to sick the government on the short sellers. Merrill Lynch issues a buy on Lehman today, after downgrading them a couple of days agoFoot in mouth Lehman stock shoots up after being beat up for a few days, probably incited by David Einhorns choreographed, publicized short selling campaign.

Now, we have these s.. (oh, there I go again) investors buying up Lehman stock, totally disregarding the fact that Lehman took and economic loss last quarter if you strip away non-cash accounting shenanigans, smoke and mirrors. We then find out that the NYS Attorney General (Cuomo) has reached a prospective settlement with the credit wizards (see below, click to enlarge).

mbia_2.png

and then...

mbia2_2.png

 

Coincidentally, not a full 48 hours after the end of the Attorney General's stern talk, ratings agencies get religion and decide to declare what the entire world figured out some time ago - MBIA and Ambac probably don't deserve AAA ratings. Really!!!!????

As I type this, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley are rallying. WHAAAT!!!!??? Don't these guys read my blog? Morgan and Lehman only have two ways to hedge multi-billion dollar assets, and neither are very reliable these days. Short a broad index and risk a lot of slippage and uncertain correlations, or pay a counterparty to accept a risk. You know, a counterparty like MBIA and Ambac. Let's revisit my "Who's holding the $119 billion bag" post from 4 months ago. If you don't want to read through the rest of my rather dated ramblings, it can be summarized in realizing how lucky Lehman is that they just closed the last quarter, for 14% of their gross equity (as calculated in February), is about to get downgraded, give or take.

This is post is primarily to document my assertions of self insurance by the banks in their alleged efforts to prop up the monoline (or should I say multilines?). Below you will find a chart with links that provide, in extreme detail, the insured holdings of a handful of banks and one homebuilder with a large mortgage operation (I do mean extreme detail, including asset name, CUSIP #, ratings by all major agencies, vintage, etc.). Let me add that I don't know how much of this is actually bank inventory versus what was sold off, but my guess is that the banks got stuck with the vast majority of everything from the last year or so. In addition, most of the underwriting banks can get stuck with the stuff that was found to violate the agreed upon underwriting guidelines (which is potentially a lot) for a certain period, even if it was sold off. This is something that can sink the smaller equity base banks such as First Franklin.

This is $120 billion dollars right here, and it is nowhere near comprehensive. These are RMBS, CMBS, and a smattering of consumer finance ABS insured by MBIA and Ambac. I know everybody thinks that we may be coming to the end of the writedowns from real estate related devaluations, but if that is what everybody thinks then everybody is wrong. This bubble took at least 6 years to build, it is not going to dissipate in 1 year. We are about 50% through the subprime crisis, but since this problem was never a subprime issue to begin with, we have lot more to go. There are all of the other classes of mortgages, the commercial real estate market, which I went over in detail , there is the consumer finance markets (recession, anyone?), then the big grand daddy of them all, the leveraged loan, junk bond CDO and CDS market - crashing at a financial institution near you. I am 50% through a forensic analysis that will expose the junk bond CDOs held by monolines that will probably knock your socks off. Alas, I digress...

This credit problem and real asset bubble is a result of combining very cheap money with the lax, "other people's money", moral hazard to be had whenyou don't need to be responsible for your own underwriting - otherwise known as the natural consequence of asset securitization. Why fret over due diligence when we're just going to sell the stuff off. The following are a sampling of whose holding the bag...

image004.gif

The Partial Cost of Monoline ABS Failure    
  Par Equity Exposure Ratio
Bear Stearns $15,673,088,703 $11,793,000,000 132.90% icon BSC ABS inventory
Morgan Stanley $22,956,101,796 $31,269,000,000 73.41% icon MS ABS Inventory
Lehman Brothers $3,151,328,632 $22,490,000,000 14.01% icon LEH ABS Inventory
Citigroup $8,100,028,623 $127,113,000,000 6.37% icon C ABS Inventory
Countrywide $12,639,385,566 $15,252,230,000 82.87% icon CFC ABS Inventory
Wells Fargo $4,700,835,231 $47,738,000,000 9.85% icon Wells Fargo ABS Inventory
Goldman Sachs $18,673,869,328 $42,800,000,000 43.63% icon GS ABS Inventory
WaMu $7,658,982,498 $23,941,000,000 31.99% icon WaMu ABS Inventory
Merrill Lynch $10,224,387,634 $38,626,000,000 26.47% icon ML ABS Inventory
Centex $511,740,636 $3,197,130,000 16.01% icon CTX ABS Inventory
Wachovia $5,328,228,928 $76,872,000,000 6.93% icon Wachovia ABS Inventory
Totals $118,950,151,688 $477,918,010,000 24.89%  

First Frankin appears to have significantly more exposure than equity (a lot more, so much so that it actually through my Excel charts out of whack): icon First Franklin Monoline ABS Inventory

This chart is using gross equity as reported, not tangible equity or foresnically scrubbed equity which is bound to be a lower number. For examples of how we use forensic analysis to reconstruct reported numbers and financial statements, see the Lennar and General Growth Properties (with conference call update ) analyses.

I am short Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns, for the very same reasons that they are numbers one and two on this list (excluding Countrywide, whose short position was covered a while back, although I still have a bear position on WaMu). To see my take on these two banks, read my overview on the industry: Banks, Brokers, & Bullsh1+ part and Banks, Brokers, & Bullsh1+ part 2 then read or download the full analyses: "The Riskiest Bank on the Street" and "Is this the Breaking of the Bear?".