Displaying items by tag: Blogonomics

Your most controversial financial blogger will be on CNN.COM/live today (http://www.cnn.com/live/) from 12-12:30pm et! I will be a guest on The Blogger Bunch segment to talk about the recent stress tests in the financial industry while making his CNN debut! Be sure to write in after the segment and share your opinions (in other words, tell everybody how great I am :-)

http://www.cnn.com/live 12:05 p.m. ET - Thur May 07 U.S. BANKS PUT TO THE TEST
Long-awaited results of the government's stress test of 19 major banks will be released this afternoon. Join our blogger bunch as they discuss what it means for you.

Published in BoomBustBlog

From Bloomberg: Stock Valuations Highest in Europe Since 2004 After April's Record Rally

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- April’s record rally in European stocks pushed market valuations to the highest level in more than four years as investors bet the first global recession since World War II is easing.

The 13 percent advance in the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index last month sent the measure to 16.2 times its companies’ earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Forecasts for 2009 profit growth in the gauge fell to 18 percent on May 1 from 22 percent a month earlier, the biggest drop this year, after earnings declined 40 percent in 2008, according to data and analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Published in BoomBustBlog
Friday, 01 May 2009 05:00

Another reminder

Check the subscriber discussion groups regularly. I posted some info in them this morning and noticed not many subscribers have come by. [readmore]

Published in BoomBustBlog

There has been a lot of chatter in the comment sections regarding how I
have been wrong regarding my research for the last 6 weeks or so. These
comments seem to be totally disregarding the last two years of
outperformance! These comments also are short sighted and apparently
unaware if how bear market rallies work.

This is not to say that I am not necessarily wrong, or could not be
wrong, it is just that it is absolutely impossible to condemn or
vindicate a medium or long term opinion in a 6 week period! I don't
trade stocks, I invest in corporate and global macro opportunities,
often through the stock and derivatives market. There is a very big
difference! I also don't offer investment advice or trading
recommendations. I do offer insight into my own investment style and
research. I can't control or predict stock markets, prices or short
term movements. Trying to predict such will simply cause me (and most
likely anyone else who tries to do so) to underperform. I invite all to learn more about my proprietary investment style, see "The Great Global Macro Experiment, Revisited". In
reading this, you will see that one cannot take advantage of the longer
term fluctuations therein and predict short term price movements (at
least consistently), simultaneously. I also invite readers to remain
cognizant that the since inception modeled return of this blog's
research should still be above 70%, and probably approaching 100% (I
haven't crunched the numbers recently so can't give you an exact
number) - see BoomBustBlog Performance, year to date. Granted this was done in March at the market lows, thus should be somewhere around 30% off, but hopefully you get the point.

The historical perspective

We have analyzed the bear market rallies during the 1929
recession/depression to check the average length and return in a severe bear market rally. We
have identified 7 bear market rallies during the 1929 recession. Dow Jones
(S&P 500 data is not available that far back) was at its peak on September 1929 and reached bottom in July 1932 .
It took
about 25 years for Dow Jones to reach its previous high with Dow Jones crawling
back to 380 in November 1954
. Yeah, you read that correctly, 25 years!

Published in BoomBustBlog

I have been receiving a decent amount of unsolicited interest in my work on GGP ( GGP and the type of investigative analysis you will not get from your brokerage house). This interest is ranging from law firms to banks to media. It is a text book case of how investigative analysis can uncover a significant mispricing of value, despite management's and the markets short term proclamations of said value. For those pundits and know-it-alls who feel that short sellers are bad for the US markets, I suggest you bring your argument to the small business men and women, pensioners, retail investors and taxpayers who were shafted by GGP as its share price collapsed from over $70 to near zero and into bankruptcy. I made it quite clear this was a probable, no actually an unavoidable scenario (firesale or foreclosure).

I went short short GGP at $60 in November of 2007 and released research shortly thereafter. I want to state again for those that follow me, this is a process that takes time to unfold and the markets are now as volatile and probably as manipulated as they have ever been. Since I cannot predict the markets or short term share price movements, you should anticipate (if not actually expect) prices to move against you (and sometime violently) in the short term. Look at the GGP chart above and you can see where I suffered several drawdowns that would have given cause to pop out of the position.

As I stated in my previous posting, "GGP has finally filed Bankruptcy, Proving My Analysis to be On Point Over the Course of 18 Months", this was not a one off event either. I also called Bear Stearns (Is this the Breaking of the Bear? [Sunday, 27 January 2008]), Lehman Brothers CRE implosion connection (Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise? [Thursday, 21 February 2008]), Countrywide and Washington Mutual (Yeah, Countrywide is pretty bad, but it ain’t the only one at the subprime party… Comparing Countrywide with its peer), nearly all of the failed or failing regional banks of significant size (As I see it, these 32 banks and thrifts are in deep doo-doo!), MBIA (A Super Scary Halloween Tale of 104 Basis Points Pt I & II, by Reggie Middleton) and Ambac (Ambac is Effectively Insolvent & Will See More than $8 Billion of Losses with Just a $2.26 Billion Market Cap and Follow up to the Ambac Analysis), among others - well in advance.

Why am I bringing all of this up again? Well its definitely not to boast or brag. After all we are all wrong sometimes, and even I doubt my findings on occasion. Recently many of my research subjects have skyrocketed in price giving short term bulls the fuzzy warm feeling in the mid section while giving those that are bearish diarrhea. I want to make clear, again, that short term movements do not condemn nor vindicate my research. It is just short term movement, often accurately considered noise. Positions must be taken carefully though, with hedges, stops or small sizes. Every home run that I hit above (nearly all of the companies above are either close to or in bankruptcy/insolvency or are no longer going concerns) has been far from a smooth ride down. As a matter of fact, Bill Ackman, who provided the orginal idea for the monolines, was short MBIA for 5 years before it finally collapsed from near $100 to about $7. Patience and steady hands must accompany strong research or market volatility will always shake you out before you have a chance to profit.

I have recently found what could be the most horrendous cover up(s) and accounting shenanigans that have come across my desk in some time. There are some big, brand name banks that are pushing numbers and false concepts around their earnings statements in a fashion that seems to make GGP 's management look like choir boys. Despite this, their share prices are doubling. Either I am wrong and will lose a lot of money shorting these guys, or I am right (like I was in the 39 examples above) and will make a killing. I will bring the issues to light for subscribers shortly if they bear out by the end of my analysis. Either way though, I think it is obvious how important it is for short sellers to have their say in the markets. A lot of pain could have been avoided by creditors and investors if they would have heeded my warnings back in 2007 and early 2008 regarding GGP - or any of the other 38 other companies mentioned above.

Mall operator files for bankruptcy protection

Teetering retail real estate giant General Growth Properties finally collapsed under nearly $27.3 billion in debt, much of it heaped on during a Las Vegas buying spree.

The Chicago-based real estate investment trust, or REIT, Thursday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court in New York, leaving judges, lawyers and creditors to unravel holdings in about 200 complex properties in 44 states. The malls will continue to operate during bankruptcy proceedings, which experts said could drag on for years.

The federal bankruptcy filing in the Southern District of New York included pending cases for 360 separate entities, including at least 16 with connections to Las Vegas.

It listed nearly $29.6 billion dollars in assets nationally, although the bulk of the assets are retail real estate holdings which face significant downward pressure on their value thanks to the recession that’s finally caught up with General Growth management’s buy-now, pay-later strategy.

In Las Vegas, General Growth and its subsidiaries own three high-profile malls on the Strip, retail, residential and office real estate in Summerlin and two regional malls for locals, Meadows and Boulevard malls.

“It is a doozy,” Nancy Rappaport, a bankruptcy expert at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, abou the filing.

The Strip properties include Fashion Show Mall, Grand Canal Shoppes and Shoppes at Palazzo. Its Summerlin holdings include The Hughes Corp., which owns the stalled-in-construction Summerlin Centre retail, office and residential development.

One local representative of the company referred questions to General Growth’s home office in Chicago. A spokesman there did not return calls for comment.

Tom Warden, spokesman for The Hughes Corp., did not return calls for comment.

The company was a joint venture partner with Boyd Gaming in the gaming company’s stalled Echelon resort. But Boyd bought out General Growth’s stake in October for $9.7 million.

Among the top 100 creditors listed in the filing, several have Las Vegas connections.

Mandalay Bay is the largest local creditor listed with General Growth owing the resort $1.1 million. It owes The Venetian, home to Grand Canal Shoppes, $531,444.

Southern Nevada Paving is listed as being owed $178,296 and LVI Environmental is listed as being owed $99,533, although an LVI official says General Growth paid its tab to the company.

“They paid us last Friday. We just made it right under the wire,” said LVI President Joe Catania.

General Growth’s extensive holdings and massive debt load mean the list of local creditors will likely grow as lawyers for the renown mega-bankruptcy firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges of New York sort through the paperwork and file cases for every entity that falls under the General Growth umbrella, Rappaport said.

“They are going to try and unwind some of that in bankruptcy,” she said. “It is really going to depend on each individual business and whether the business plan for each company makes sense.”

Companies that have a business-to-business trade relationship with General Growth or a subsidiary are likely to be unsecured creditors, meaning their bills aren’t secured by a piece of General Growth’s property the way a mortgage is secured by a house.

The largest unsecured creditors will organize an unsecured creditors committee, which will itemize all of General Growth’s unsecured debt.

Smaller creditors, however, won’t be overlooked in court, Rappaport says.

That’s because in bankruptcy the lawyers working on behalf of the unsecured creditors committee have a legal and fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of all unsecured creditors.

That said, there’s no way yet for creditors to know just how much debt they’ll recoup from the hobbled titan.

“It is too early to say whether they are going to get screwed,” Rappaport said.

Founded in 1954, the company was primarily a regional player that in recent years used aggressive leverage to become the nation’s second-largest REIT after Simon Property Group.

The buying binge peaked in 2004 with the leveraged purchase of The Rouse Co., in a $14 billion deal that included Fashion Show and the Summerlin holdings.

It also included marquee properties such as Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace, South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

It committed more than $1 billion in separate transactions to buy Grand Canal Shoppes in 2004 and the Shoppes at Palazzo in 2008.

Management maintained complex fiscal arrangements by continually rolling debt over into new debt, a strategy that unraveled when the credit markets went sour last year.

“Their problem is they paid too much for it and they used too much debt to get it,” said investor Reggie Middleton who in January 2008 was among the first people to publicly state the company was in danger on his Web site, www.boombustblog.com.

Middleton, who was indirectly ridiculed for his skepticism by General Growth management, published an in-depth analysis of the company’s complicated finances that included a property-by-property look at the firm’s holdings.

He says the Las Vegas properties are moneymakers under the right conditions.

“Most of (General Growth’s) Las Vegas stuff looks good anecdotally, it is just a matter of what price it looks good at,” Middleton said.

Had General Growth not overpaid for holdings in Las Vegas or elsewhere or if had bought the properties with cash instead of debt it could have ridden out the recession, Middleton said.

With both the Las Vegas economy and nation’s retail sector in doubt, it is tough to say how General Growth’s Las Vegas properties will be valued.

Their Strip properties are well located and do well compared to other retail properties. But they are one-trick ponies compared to the resorts, which get money from gambling, room rentals, retail and food.

“The retail malls have one source of revenue, that is rent,” Middleton said.

Although the value of General Growth’s Las Vegas holdings is murky, Middleton says lessons for investors from the company’s downfall are clear.

“When everyone wants to buy you should be selling,” he said. “When everyone wants to sell you should be buying.”

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 702-477-3861.

Published in BoomBustBlog

I have corrected and replaced a broken link to the "Retail Subscriber Forum" in the user menu to the left of this page. Please feel free to use it liberally and freely discuss subscriber material. I just put in an interesting tidbit of info regarding the asset manager research released a few weeks ago as an incentive for all to go check it out and participate.

I know many who had a net short position felt some pain over the last few weeks. Keep in mind, I am of a position of it being an extreme bear rally, and extreme it was. The most extreme in the history of the US stock markets. For those who have faith in my research, keep in mind that the farther it rallies, the farther prices part from their fundamental values. This means the more profit opportunity there is as prices revert to mean.

Today was a day that I expected to happen quite a few percentage points back, and I believe it was sparked by those that can actually count and read realizing that Goldman's results were actually awful (see Reggie Middleton's Goldman Sach's Stress Test: Breaking Ranks with the Crowd Once Again! and The Goldman Sachs Q1 2009 update is now available for download [for subcsribers]) as well as the retail sales numbers. If the alleged cream of the crop couldn't break a "real" profit after all of the machinations of the government, then banks are in a much bigger bind than the sell side shills have been leading us to believe!

Remember, I am not an active trader and I can't predict the future or the markets, thus there will be times when you will have drawdowns. I was able to warn readers of this one in advance, but I had no idea it was going to be of the depth and strength that it was. Regardless, if one followed my guidance of small positions, consistent profit taking and high liquidity, you should be in a prime position to capitalize on some of the extremely and highly overvalued financial service company and bank stocks that have run up over 100% in this rally. We literally have many research subjects back up to the prices they were at in 2008 (which drove deep triple digit profits) despite the facts their problems are the same or worse than they were last year.

I would recommend patience and prudence in jumping back into or adding to your positions, but the Goldman results and the WaMu accounting games (I will post these games in detail for subscribers) are just the writing on the wall for much of the Blog research subjects.

Published in BoomBustBlog
Saturday, 04 April 2009 05:00

Private Subscriber Discussions are now available

I have been offline for awhile. I am in Nashville for the student national chess championships with my 8 year old son. I see many are, rightfully, concerned about this unprecedented (the greatest in the history of the markets, if I am not mistaken) rally that has proven rather unprofitable for bears.

Well, keep in mind that no one is right all of the time and there is a decent chance that I may not be right this time. With that being said, I have not been materially incorrect since this asset securitization crisis started, and I don't believe that I am incorrect now. I warned the blog (through the comments section) that I was bracing for a violent bear market rally, actually on the eve before the rally. I didn't mean (or know) that it would be the most violent market rally ever, but the fundamentals and the facts remain unchanged. I consistently warn all to take profits often, while maintaining positions and to take manageable positions in sizes where you can afford it to go against you and still have staying power. I also preach the virtues of going for the medium to long term horizons versus trying to speculate on short term price movements, which literally puts you at the mercy of unpredictable market swings, versus things that are more predictable such as cash flow shortages, covenant defaults, etc.

Stock prices are again diverging, significantly, from their fundamental values. Each time that has happened in the history of the markets, they have reverted to the mean - in other words, reality strikes.

I am hurt by this extreme rally, but I was expecting and prepared for it, going into it with a 65% cash position. I have lost a couple of months profit, but am still up well over 650% for the 22 month trailing period. I feel that, if I am prepared, a significant drop is coming and will be particularly violent, as the lack of cash flows, solvency, earnings and debt servicing ability meets the shares prices of marginal companies that have doubled or better in price. There is no more likely time for this to happend than earnings season. Keep in mind that banks have it in their cards to write deceptively optimistic accounting earnings, but it is still my opinion (and obviously that of our governments), that many of them still quite insolvent.

On a separate note, the private subscription forums are open for beta use:

  1. Retail Subscriber Private Forum
  2. Professional Subscriber Private Forum
  3. Institutional Subscriber Private Forum

Feel free to discuss whatever you want with other members of your subscription level. Please let customer relations (in the "contact us" menu at the top of the site) know of any usability issues you may have. Enjoy, and I will be back posting full strength at the end of the tournament, most likely Monday evening.

I have started updating all of my banking research to reflect the potential effects of PPIP on asset value write downs and spreads. Goldmans Sachs till be first up, and I have a reinsurer to report on as well (which has skyrocketed in price), as well as a little bit on the education sector.

Published in BoomBustBlog

I hope to see as many of you as possible there. Look here for directions: BoomBustBlog Networking - Trading Reggie's Research

Published in BoomBustBlog
Sunday, 08 March 2009 04:00

BoomBustBlog Performance, year to date

Before we begin, Pro subscribers should look to the "Latest Content" list in the lower right margin for an informative note on the latest REIT analysis. There will be a banking note and some macro stuff posted for retail and general subscribers shortly.

On to this year's performance, I have spent some time calculating the YTD performance figures for both the blog research and my proprietary trading account. I have made some changes to the presentation to prevent the confusion that resulted in the Forbes reporter thinking that I took "losses" (see "Going Short"). These changes boil down to:

      • Posting raw, absolute returns to prevent confusion with cumulative averages. The raw return means if I put $100 in and get $1000 out, I made 9 times my money (($1000-$100)/$100=900%).

      • Cumulative Returns being calculated as follows: 10% + 5% - (-5%) + 3% = 13%. This yields a different figure from absolute returns, but is used to compare disparate investment vehicles as reported.

The returns above have been graphed with hypothetical (don't try to guess what's in mine) account levels to demonstrate the wealth creation/destruction effect of true fundamental research and decent trading - and/or the lack thereof! As a result you can see that a well to do upper middle class investor could have catapulted himself firmly into the upper class in terms of wealth, while many around him/her would have fallen to the wayside. Social mobility, my friend! See "Super Brokers form to push Super Broken products to make those with High Net Worth Super Broke" (don't forget to download the BoomBustBlog Social Class Model to see what I am talking about) and "666: That's the Sign of Your Broker Giving You Bad Investment Advice!"
for an example this mobility.

Proprietary account numbers will appear higher due to use of gross returns in lieu of pro forma net returns. If you remember, I had intended to start a hedge fund, thus I set my performance model to include 2 and 20 fees to form an apples to apples comparison to other hedge funds. Since the fund plans have been scrapped, I will use my actual returns from now on unless other indicated.

So, YTD (basically two months and a week into the year) my proprietary trading accounts have returned 19.9% on an absolute basis and 23.23% on a cumulative monthly basis. The total return since the inception of the account is 727.08% since June of 2007. the S&P 500 has returned -52.58% for the same period. The Blog's static research model has returned about 131% since its inception (9/2007) and 66% for the year. The few companies covered in the most recent quarter have tanked tremendously, providing big returns. As you can see, the effects of keeping a large cash balance (averaging over 50%), a diverse portfolio of puts and shorted securities and not being fully invested show the blog research pulling ahead in the beginning of the year. I will be putting large swaths of cash to work if the research subjects pop considerably above their valuation bands which should boost returns immensely (unless I'm wrong, of course), but I will leave a lot of cash available as part of my risk management strategy as well. I would always enjoy juicier returns, but greed is what killed the cat, not curiosity.

Click to enlarge to printer quality






The orange shaded area below is what I have included in the 2009 pick calculations. Although many probably do have additional positions in their portfolio, I picked a hypothetical cutoff point. The average gain for the blog research since inception is 131%. That is very good, and probably beats almost all numbers available from the investment advisors and money managers you probably deal with, particularly considering that this is a static model that incorporates no trading. If one were to incorporate trading and money management at a fairly sophisticated level, one should be seeing results such as my proprietary trading account which is up over 720% since inception. The average gain for this year's research pick's in a margined short account is about 66%, very good in my opinion. For those who are risk averse, you could sell off right now and probably boast of the best results in the market. It would be even more if one were to use well selected options lieu of shorting. I would like to make clear that derivatives are primarily what I use in my proprietary account, except where not available or not appropriate. In those limited cases I will short the stock.

BoomBustBlog's Holding period return (with leverage) BoomBustBlog's HPR without margin and commissions Brokers (Holding period return)
Stock 1 month 3 months Since invested Return of Blog's forensic /drill down analysis Citi GS JPM MS
len 149.9% 27.4% 32.9% 78.7% 149.9% -46.8% 73.8% -99.3%
hov 183.2% 65.5% 75.2% 95.4% 183.2% -94.6% -94.2%
phm 99.2% 30.0% 33.4% 53.4% 99.2% -36.6% -46.0% -45.6%
ctx 154.9% 43.8% 53.3% 81.2% 154.9% -63.3% -79.0% 77.8%
dhom 129.0% 0.0% 0.0% 68.3% 129.0% No coverage
bzh 187.3% 67.0% 86.5% 97.4% 187.3% -96.6% 97.6%
rdn 181.8% 67.1% 72.3% 94.7% 181.8% No coverage
mtg 184.3% 59.9% 45.1% 95.9% 184.3% -84.3%
dhi 102.5% 14.1% 15.2% 55.0% 102.5% 168.4% -47.8% -53.2%
tol 61.8% 21.6% 35.3% 34.7% 61.8% -30.9% -29.9% -31.7%
bsc 184.2% 22.1% 14.8% 95.9% 184.2% No coverage
cfc 149.5% 0.0% 0.0% 78.5% 149.5% No coverage
mbi 184.3% 40.5% 62.6% 95.9% 184.3% -48.3% -92.3%
abk 191.2% 66.1% 75.3% 99.4% 191.2% -82.0% -88.3%
wm 192.3% 9.1% 14.3% 99.9% 192.3% 99.5%
ryl 89.9% 31.8% 34.7% 48.5% 89.9% -42.8% -44.3% -65.8%
ms 125.1% 25.9% -9.3% 65.7% 125.1% -74.4% -73.4% -73.8%
ggp 192.1% 56.0% 80.0% 99.0% 192.1% 63.2% -99.4% -99.3%
bac 178.1% 35.1% 79.4% 92.0% 178.1% -93.6% -90.4% -93.8% -14.9%
kbh 124.6% 32.9% 41.8% 65.0% 124.6% -53.3% -67.0% -81.5%
lehmq 194.4% 25.0% 25.0% 99.9% 194.4% -99.9%
ago 160.7% 50.9% 71.7% 83.1% 160.7% 0.0% -84.5% -80.2%
key 148.0% 26.3% 36.1% 76.7% 148.0% -84.0% -78.6% -21.4%
ffhs 158.5% 54.1% 72.2% 81.8% No coverage
ms 119.0% 25.9% -9.3% 62.1% 119.0% -74.4% -73.4% -73.8%
c 186.6% 70.8% 86.6% 95.8% 186.6% 32.0% -97.1% -92.7%
wfc 140.6% 47.1% 71.2% 72.8% 140.6% -71.2% -76.7% -75.1%
gs 109.6% 18.5% -7.0% 57.3% 109.6% -62.9% -61.2% -56.7%
mer 152.1% 0.0% 10.7% 78.6% -81.6% -78.6% -84.3% -63.3%
wb 163.0% 0.0% 5.3% 84.0% 163.0% No coverage
bsc 182.9% NA NA 48.4% 182.9%
kfn 187.8% 67.3% -65.0% 96.2% 187.8% -97.1% -95.9%
jef 94.8% 31.9% -7.2% 49.7% -62.0%
pnc 142.4% 37.9% 43.2% 73.3% 142.4% -71.4% -71.0% -75.5%
bpop 160.6% 10.5% 60.9% 82.2% No coverage
sti 162.0% 9.9% 67.7% 82.9% 162.0% -81.2% -85.5% -87.4% -86.6%
snv 153.2% 18.7% 62.3% 78.5% -78.0% -79.0% 75.7%
mi 168.4% 14.1% 72.1% 86.1% -85.8% 85.9% 91.6% -85.9%
asbc 118.4% 27.1% 23.9% 61.1% -16.0%
fctr -2.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% No coverage
mtb 125.3% 16.8% 43.6% 64.6% 125.3% -54.8% -41.2% -43.7% -61.9%
hban 174.1% 43.0% 77.5% 88.9% 174.1% -82.3% 91.8% -94.8%
bbt 114.1% 21.2% 40.2% 58.9% -49.7% -59.5% -66.9% -71.9%
jpm 122.2% 35.1% 26.4% 63.0% -65.9% -62.6% -66.1%
usb 143.1% 41.2% 48.1% 73.5% 74.8% -74.1% -74.5% -75.5%
cof 162.2% 41.5% 56.6% 83.0% 162.2% -82.5%
nara 160.0% 58.6% 41.2% 81.9% No coverage
sasr 142.6% 53.1% 21.1% 73.2% No coverage
hnbc 130.3% 51.9% 31.7% 67.1% No coverage
cvbf 83.9% 37.3% 16.7% 43.9% No coverage
gbci 75.3% 27.1% 3.3% 39.6% No coverage
fhn 24.5% 20.0% 6.4% 14.2% -65.5% 10.6% -57.3% 9.2%
ncc 133.9% 0.0% 10.4% 68.8% -88.1% -83.5% -89.5% -53.9%
WAMUQ 195.5% 9.1% 5.7% 99.7% 195.5% 52.2%
cfc 14.9% 0.0% 0.0% 9.4% 14.9% No coverage
rf 165.5% -3.9% 70.4% 84.6% -77.4% -87.6% -87.7% 0.0%
zion 166.4% 50.0% 56.8% 85.1% -80.1% -35.9% -91.0% -85.8%
tcbk 56.4% 35.6% 31.5% 30.1% No coverage
fitb 183.2% 21.3% 80.1% 93.5% -95.7% -90.8% 96.3% -81.8%
sov 139.9% 0.0% 0.8% 71.9% -76.4%
ge 147.4% 34.9% 39.2% 75.6% 147.4% -81.9% -83.1% -83.1%
axp 142.3% 39.8% 21.8% 72.7% 142.3% -76.7% -77.9%
hbc 135.1% 35.8% 25.4% 69.0% 135.1% 71.5%
nav 114.1% 27.1% -61.3% 58.6% 114.1% -58.2%
wire 14.9% 7.5% -13.3% 8.7% 14.9% No coverage
sfd 140.9% 46.7% -28.0% 71.8% 140.9% -76.1% -62.6%
hig 172.7% 76.0% -3.4% 87.4% 172.7%
mac 163.5% 48.7% -28.0% 82.8% 163.5%
pfg 130.6% 63.4% 13.4% 65.9% 130.6%
fro 86.5% 40.7% -0.3% 43.9% 86.5%
sivb 102.4% 42.6% 44.1% 51.9% 102.4%
shld 39.9% 11.2% 14.1% 20.2% 39.9%
bbv 80.0% 37.7% 7.1% 40.2% 80.0%
puk 68.2% 43.6% -12.2% 34.4% 68.2%
Subscibers only
53.7% 23.9% 0.6% 27.1% 53.7%
Subscibers only 81.2% 45.4% 30.6% 40.9% 81.2%
Subscibers only 23.7% 29.7% 3.1% 12.1% 23.7%
Subscibers only 25.3% 35.3% 18.4% 12.7% 25.3%
Subscibers only 13.1% 22.6% 10.6% 6.6% 13.1%
Reggie's Returns 129.0% 32.4% 28.4% 66.1% 131.2% -54.8% -45.6% -55.5% -52.6%
DJI Index -14.7% -20.4% -48.9%
CCMP INDEX -12.4% -10.3% -48.5%
CTRN Index -19.7% -22.4% -53.7%
UTIL Index -19.4% -15.0% -37.8%
UKX Index -13.8% -10.0% -41.9%
HSI Index -7.3% -11.8% -43.4%
RTY Index -18.4% -19.5% -53.6%
OEX Index -15.2% -20.4% -51.3%
SPX Index -15.7% -18.6% -52.1%
AS30 Index -6.6% -8.1% -49.8%
SPTSX Index -11.8% -3.7% -41.9%
MXWO Index -15.3% -14.9% -53.5%
FTAW11 Index -15.3% -12.9% -58.5%
MXEUG Index -13.4% -11.9% -53.4%
MXWO Index -15.3% -14.9% -53.5%
MXEU Index -14.0% -12.0% -53.9%
DJGT Index -14.6% -17.8% -52.7%
SGX Index -13.7% -11.0% -44.5%
SVX Index -18.1% -26.5% -59.3%

As you can see, I (and the blog's static research model) have beaten all global indices, hedge fund indices, and prominent Wall Street brokers by a very, very, very wise margin. The most conservative comparison will be with the blog research, which is based upon a hypothetical buy and hold static model (no trading) and that has also trounced all competition and indices (by several hundred percent). By inference, you subscribers should have whupped the tail of all of the hedgies and Wall Street banks as well. If not, you are probably trading too much. My targets are chosen for downward movement in this environment. There is no need to actively trade. That means having convictions in one's researched positions and not jumping ship the second you feel the position moving against you. I cannot control the market (which is moved by traders in the short term, not fundamentals or macro drivers) and I cannot predict the future, thus you have to hold on to allow fundamentals to do their work. Many people ask me why the market has done this or moved that way, etc. My answer always is "because traders need to capture short term price movements in order to make money, and they will act upon any impetus to both create and capture that price movement in the short term, which tends to exacerbate that very same movement". That is why I would recommend Obama's administration to ignore market reaction to their policies and speeches. The momentum orientated, short term trader's market cannot be sated, satisfied or satiated and its whimsical temper tantrum's have absolutely no correlation to fundamentals, doing what's right or wrong, or common damns sense.

For the sake of comparison, I have included cash returns for the Blog's static research model below. This is unrealistic since you require a margin account to short stock, but I wanted to be as fair and conservative as humanly possible since analysts recommendations and indices are given on a cash basis as well.

Blog's unlevered returns 66.1%
Citi -54.8%
GS -45.6%
MS -52.6%
JPM -55.5%

I hate to pick on the mainstream media since they are starting to show a little love for me, but folks.... We need need to keep the facts straight. This is off of CNBC's home page:

Why a Lousy Jobs Report Could Actually Help Stocks: Investors have been searching for that vital capitulation point where stocks form a true bottom. A higher-than-expected jobless rate could set the stage for that.

Do you guys have any idea how dangerous it is to try and time the market? You'd be better off just smoking the money! Keep looking for the bottom and all you will see is the bottom of your piggy bank staring back at you as all of your money disappears! Let's take a look at this from a historical perspective, but before we do I want to address a pet peeve that I have with the media. Nobody is quoting the Middleton index, or the BoomBustBlog index (although the Doo Doo 32 did get rather popular). The reason? Probably because it is irrelevant, and the only reason to do so would be to market my name. So, why quote the Dow? It is not that representative of the market, and it shows an amateurish bent. Now, on to our regular scheduled programming...


Yes, it does look as if we have fallen alot over the last two years, but if go back to the last comparable market fall during the Great Depression we will find 3 years of a falling market and 16 years of zigzagging on and off of that holy grail, that oh so elusive, so called "bottom" that I hear mentioned on CNBC by their reporters and pundits at least 20 some odd times per day. Not only is it bad for your net worth to attempt to invest around finding a bottom, but once you do find it, you may very find that it really wasn't all that you were led to believe it was!


Published in BoomBustBlog

I don't know if the readers at Forbes appreciated the value of the recommendations in the article last week, but they would have done rather well if they followed up on what they read. From the Going Short article.

"You're going to hear the word insolvent a lot," he says. Middleton has company in profiting by shorting financial stocks lately. But few shorts have been as vocal, or as prescient, as the Howard University graduate and self-taught stock-picker. Middleton, 41, started his BoomBustBlog in September 2007 and four months later declared Bear Stearns to be "in a fight for its life" at a time the investment bank's shares were trading above $90. On April 1 of last year he ridiculed regulators for blaming Lehman's problems on rumor-mongering short-sellers.

"I can solve this mystery," Middleton wrote with typical braggadocio. "The source of the rumors is Lehman's balance sheet."

Middleton says his Web site, www.reggiemiddleton.com, has 3,500 subscribers, including several hundred who pay up to $2,500 a year for access to more detailed financial reports. In the case of Alexander's, he used a video camera to record how empty its Brooklyn malls were.

Middleton's site combines self-promotion with meticulous financial analysis that is often delivered with a whiff of bathroom humor (a list of overpriced banking stocks last year went out as the "Doo-Doo 32")."

This is what I gave them to publish (a mere sampling of what is currently online for subscribers):

Middleton's Short Picks Ticker Price* Reason To Short Price as of 3/6/2009 Percent Change Return if subscribed to Reggie $50,000 evenly invested in short margin account would yield (for the one week after the Forbes article $50,000 invested in the Barclay's hedge fund index as of last month would have yielded
Wynn Resorts WYNN $ 20.95 Shrinking margins; 50% premium to discounted cash flow $ 15.40 (26.49)% 50% $ 15,033.41
Alexander's ALX $ 140.40 Problems with commercial real estate holdings $ 137.82 (1.84)% 3% $ 10,349.15
Markel MKL $ 265.81 Financial investments to deterioriate; selling at premium to rivals $ 225.21 (15.27)% 29% $ 12,902.07
Ralcorp Holdings RAH $ 60.60 Cereal, packaged good maker faces margin pressure $ 54.85 (9.49)% 18% $ 11,802.81
Sears Holdings SHLD $ 36.76 Recession to hurt earnings, revenues $ 35.53 (3.35)% 6% $ 10,635.75
Total $ 60,723.18 $ 47,000
*Prices as of Feb. 27 close. 21% -6%
Come see me at BoomBustBlog.com

This doesn't included the veritable implosion that is to occur in the subject of the latest REIT report, or the potential fraud to be uncovered in the consumer retail sector report, or the stuff that I have backpiled struggling to get out.

Let this serve as a notice to the MSM (the mainstream media) in general. There's a new sherrif in town, and he doesn't look, sound, perform nor act like the conventional MSM favorites, ex. Cramer. I am actually trying to make money! You people are really going to get your money's
worth this month. I will be holding an institutional conference call
for the month of March - potentially within a week. There may be a
strategy issue to share.

To all, come meet, greet and chat with me at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC. Register and RSVP here, it's free:
BoomBustBlog Networking - Trading Reggie's Research

For those who are interested, more on the MSM and why they should align themselves with high quality blogs - the transformation of the MSM:

A change is gonna' come Monday, 08 December 2008

Continuing the conversation of the future of main stream media.., Tuesday, 09 December 2008

The Future of Main Stream Media, pt 3 Saturday, 13 December 2008

Sometime, to grow, you have to stick to your Core Compentencies!

Published in BoomBustBlog
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