Displaying items by tag: Investment Banks

Monday, 11 June 2012 17:41

Bank Run! Italiano Style?

In March of 2010, or roughly 2 and quarter years ago, I ridiculed Italy's public proclamations of austerity and fiscal responsibility. I put out a report to my paid subscribers detailing my thoughts therein... 


Well, fast forward to today and Bloomberg reports Italy Moves Into Debt-Crisis Crosshairs After Spain (you know, the same Spain that we also warned about in March of 2010): 

Italy’s 10-year bonds reversed early gains today in the first trading after the Spanish bailout. Their yield rose by the most in a day since Dec. 8, adding 27 basis points to 6.04 percent. Shares of UniCredit SpA (UCG), the country’s largest bank, had their steepest decline in five months.
“The scrutiny of Italy is high and certainly will not dissipate after the deal with Spain,” Nicola Marinelli, who oversees $153 million at Glendevon King Asset Management in London, said in an interview. “This bailout does not mean that Italy will be under attack, but it means that investors will pay attention to every bit of information before deciding to buy or to sell Italian bonds.”

Investors don't need to focus on Spain's bailout (although there are many common threads). All you need to do is look at Italy's actual numbers and the credibility of thier reporting, as excerpted from BoomBustBlog subscriber document File Icon Italy public finances projection:



Back to Bloomberg...

Italy has 2 trillion euros of debt, more as a share of its economy than any developed nation other than Greece and Japan. The Treasury has to sell more than 35 billion euros of bonds and bills per month -- more than the annual output of each of the three smallest euro members, Cyprus, Estonia and Malta.
Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on June 9 that he would request as much as 100 billion euros in emergency loans from the euro area to shore up a banking system hobbled by more than 180 billion euros of bad assets. Mounting concern about the state of Spain’s banks and public finances drove the country’s borrowing costs to near euro-era records last month, pushing up Italian rates in the process.
Reversing Gains.

Economy Contracting
Italy’s total debt of more than twice Spain’s has given investors pause, especially in a country where economic growth has lagged the EU average for more than a decade. The euro region’s third-biggest economy, Italy is set to contract 1.7 percent this year, more than the 1.6 percent in Spain, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates.
Italy’s debt load had traditionally led the country to be perceived as a bigger credit risk than Spain. At the start of this year, Italy’s 10-year bond yielded 202 basis points more than that of Spain. As the extent of Spain’s banking woes became more evident and the country was forced to raise its deficit target, that spread reversed and now Spain’s 10-year yields 48 points more than Italy’s.

Foreign Exodus
Debt agency head Maria Cannata last week said that fewer foreign investors were turning up at Italian auctions in recent months and that the country could still finance at yields as high as 8 percent.

Yeah, but for how long? 4 weeks????

The exodus of foreign buyers has left the Treasury more dependent on Italian banks, which in turn have been among the biggest borrowers in the European Central Bank’s three-year lending operations.

And this is the crux of the whole problem.

This why Italy is, for all intents and purposes, simply a gigantic Greece at the end of the day.

I have written about this extensively, and in plenty of time for subscribers and investors to take advantage of said advice. Simply read How Greece Killed Its Own Banks! and remember that this article was written in the beginning of 2010, when the Greek bonds were trading for much more then they were right before they defaulted! Then reference Greece Reports: "Circular Reasoning Works Because Circular Reasoning Works" - Or - Here Comes That Default!!!

Sovereign entities cannot fund themselves by borrowing from the insolvent entities that they actually need to bailout, but somehow they have convinced enough holders of capital that they can. To quote from "Sophisticated Ignorance"...

Again, public states bailing out insolvent private banking institutions simply does not work. The result is simply insolvent states and insolvent banks versus simply having insolvent banks. We have 800 years of experience from which to judge from...



In Dead Bank Deja Vu? How The Sovereigns Killed Their Own Banks & Why Nobody Realizes They're Dead… I have explained this nonsensical methodology in detail. I also warned on the Italian banks back in 2010, for there is truly no new economic profits being produced in bulk - simply a continuation of the Pan-European Ponzi scheme. Subscribers see File Icon Italian Banking Macro-Fundamental Discussion Note 

Italy returns to markets before Spain does, selling as much 6.5 billion euros of treasury bills on June 13, followed by a bond auction the next day.
“If Italy has a problem with accessing the markets because investors lose confidence in the Italian ability to do the right thing, the ECB will be drawn into the fire,” Thomas Mayer, an economic adviser to Deutsche Bank AG, said in a telephone interview. “That could pose a potentially lethal threat to European monetary union.”

At this point, the ECB must be stuffed with more shit than a broken toilet, reference . We have been through this with Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and now Italy.

ECB Firepower
Given the size of Italy’s debt, only the ECB has the firepower to rescue the country and yet deploying that ammunition -- through buying back bonds or making more long-term loans -- may prove unacceptable to Germany and its allies in northern Europe, Mayer said.
“The ECB will probably have to restart buying bonds but there will be a lot of sellers into that of people who are worried that Spain is the next Greece and Italy the next Spain,” said Lex Van Dam, who manages $500 million at Hampstead Capital LLC in London.

Go figure!

Published in BoomBustBlog

A few months ago, I warned all to Watch As Near Free Money To Banks Fails To Prevent Nuclear Winter For European CRE. This warning was an offshoot of the extensive research that I did on the European banking sector, sovereign debt and CRE. In a nutshell, I said It appears as if there were a few who failed to heed said sage warning. Bloomberg reports Commercial Landlords Fail to Pay Loans Amid Crisis, Moody’s Says

Landlords of commercial properties in Europe are struggling to repay mortgages as banks pull back from refinancing the loans, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

And the reason they are pulling back has been well documented on BoomBustBlog for some time. See Is Another Banking Crisis Inevitable? 04 February 2011

Seventy-nine percent of the loans packaged into commercial mortgage-backed securities rated by Moody’s that came due in the first quarter weren’t repaid on time, Frankfurt-based analyst Oliver Moldenhauer wrote in a report. The non-payment rate more than doubled from 35 percent in 2009 and reflects “the current weak state of the lending market,” Moldenhauer wrote.

Whoa!!!! And to think everyone is worried about sovereign debt in Europe. Once all of that rapidly depreciated real estate collapses mortgages that have been leveraged 30x, you'll really see the meaning of AUSTERITY! I'm trying to make it very clear to you people, you ain't seen nothing yet!!!

The economic slowdown is hurting landlords of properties from office blocks to car parks and shopping malls across Europe. A total of 38 billion euros ($47 billion) of commercial real estate loans come due this year and next, Moody’s said.

“As banks need to deleverage due to regulatory requirements, commercial real estate financing will remain constrained,” Moldenhauer wrote. “Most loans will not be repaid.”
...“Not only can underwater loans not be refinanced, borrowers also face difficulties refinancing moderately leveraged loans that are simply too large in the current lending market,” said Christian Aufsatz, an analyst at Barclays Plc in London. “For CMBS, the situation will become worse.”

Real estate with mortgages that match or exceed the value of the property -- a so-called loan-to-value ratio of 100 percent or higher -- suffered defaults in “nearly all” cases in the first quarter, Moody’s said. About a third of borrowers with LTV ratios of up to 80 percent didn't pay up on time, according to the report.

Keep in mind that the LTV of these properties are safe in the 50-60 LTV range. We're now discussing 80 to 100+ LTVs. Think about it? Whose going to cough up the missing equity? Quick answer - bank equity investors! More thought out answer - Taxpayers the world over as their hardheaded ass government officials rush in once against to try to bailout banking systems that are too big to be bailed out, leaving what few decent sovereign nation economies left insolvent - once again!!!!

Most of the loans that were repaid were for less than 25 million euros, while just one of the 15 mortgages worth 75 million euros or more was paid on time, Moldenhauer wrote.

As queried many times on this blog, "What do you think, pray tell, happens when the liquidity starved, capital deprived, over leveraged banks fail to roll over all of that underwater EU mortgage debt?" Excerpted from Watch As Near Free Money To Banks Fails To Prevent Nuclear Winter For European CRE:

So, what is the net effect on real estate as thousands of underwater mortgages come up for rollover on depreciating real property?





So are there any concrete examples of all of this Reggie style pontification? If course there is. Do you see that chart above where the tiny country of the Netherlands is one of the largest per capita contributors to these bailouts? Well, you don't think all of the expenditure (to be) is free do you? Here are some screenshots of a prominent Dutch property company, on its way down the tubes - subscribers reference (click here to subscribe):



 My next posts on this topic will delve into US REITS, global (but EU based) insurers and banks who have the exposure to make ideal shorts considering "The astonishing number this time is the number of banks participating, which signals that a lot more small banks looked for the money and it is likely they will pass it on to the economy,” said Laurent Fransolet, head of fixed income strategy Barclays Capital in London, who estimates about 300 billion euros of the total is new lending. “So the impact may be bigger than with the first one.”

Stay tuned!

My next post on CRE will show how this is not just a European phenomena. Yes, US REITS will come crashing back to reality as well. Subscribers should pay attention as I ladder puts and shorts into this REIT which we have calculated to fall roughtly 95% in value if math comes to the forefront. To date, the price has not broken out of a relatively narrow range, which means the opportunity is still there. I am considering making the research public after it is clear all long terms subscribers have attained positions.

icon Cashflows and Debt Preliminary Analysis (493.89 kB 2012-01-19 09:19:16) - compete cash flow analysis showing this REIT coming up short in every possible practical scenario.

icon Fire Sale Scenario Analysis (303.76 kB 2012-02-10 09:17:04) - illustrates the situation if a fire sale was pursued to raise cash.

icon Foreclosure Scenario Analysis (414.15 kB 2012-02-09 10:16:12) - illustrates the situation if properties were allowed to go into foreclosure to ease debt service.

icon Sample Property Valuation (360.45 kB 2012-01-26 09:03:33) - one of over 40 property valuations performed by hand, with on the ground inputs using our proprietary valuation models.

I will go over this opportunity in more detail over the next 72 hours as well as reviewing the path taken by European real estate to show what can be expected here in the US and the FIRE sector.

Please note that we independently value REIT portfolios - property by property - with independently sourced rents and expenses to ascertain a truly accurate valuation picture. This is how we called the short on General Growith Properties in 2007, a year before they were downgraded from investment grade status and still buys on them from all the major sell side houses that followed them. I rode GGP down from the $60s to about $8, the shares eventually fell to $1 and change or so. The General Growth Properties short generated returns deep into the three digits... Deep enough to come close to registering a four digit return.

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/reggiemiddleton. Click here to subscribe to BoomBustBlog research!

Published in BoomBustBlog

Today's lead story on Bloomberg and the primary theme throughout the financial MSM is Merkel’s Isolation Deepens As Draghi Criticizes Strategy. This is general pressure to force Merkel to succumb to extreme short term thinking that will most assuredely bring the EU to its knees and potentially end the hegemony of what use to be the European empire - that is unless... You know.... This time is different! Yes, these are strong words, strong words are necessry for a dire situation. Let's consder this a massive economic changing of the guard, shall we. And as such, these occurrences portend the potential for MASSIVE speculative investment gains as those financial bastions of faux capitalism come toppling down amidst massive short positiions that the majority simply didn't have the foresight, temerity (or balls) to impliement and hold on to. At the end of this article, I will review FIRE sector (see Reggie Middleton Sets CNBC on FIRE!!! and First I set CNBC on F.I.R.E., Now It Appears I've Set and Greece Is Trying To Convince Portugal To Make F.I.R.E. Hot!!!) entities that I feel are primed to pop as this plays out, yet are not priced accordingly.

On Thursday, 29 September 2011 I penned Sophisticated Ignorance Or Just A Very, Very Short Term Memory? Foolish Talk of German Bailouts Once Again, wherein I queried:

"If I were able to show in this article that it really ISN'T different this time, would it change any decision maker's path or actions? We all know the answer to that question. Time to get those outlier event short positions ready, it's going to be a rough ride!!! A complete recap of recent events..."

This is a very important post, for it will lay out the outline of the impetus behind the 450+% gains I achieced in 2008/9. As queried in the afore-linked article, "So, at what point do we ever learn the basic lesson that "You can't solve an indebted nation's debt problems with more debt"?" 

The original "Sophisticated Ignorance" post was made in response to Germany being lauded for voting to nearly double the size of the then largest EU bailout fund ever...  

German lawmakers approved by a wide margin legislation to boost the scope and size of the euro zone's rescue fund, in a major step toward tackling the bloc's sovereign-debt crisis.

Lawmakers passed the reform of the European Financial Stability Facility with 523 'yes' votes, while 85 lawmakers voted 'no' and three abstained. The vote was seen as a test of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right coalition.

All 17 euro-zone governments have to approve the expansion, which will boost the fund’s lending capacity to €440 billion ($595.94 billion) from €250 billion and expand its powers to allow it to extend credit lines to banks and buy bonds on the secondary market.

To conitnue to quote from "Sophisticated Ignorance"...

This was the problem that I had with Paulson's original TARP idea. It just won't work because it doesn't solve the problem. Instead, it attempts to conceal the problem in fashion that pretends it never existed. Let's walk through this so a 5 year old can understand it.

Of course EU governments will try to bail out their banks again. The issue is that the bailout is not the question, neither is the success of said bailouts (this is rather a trick question, since the soveriegn states simply cannot afford to bailout their banks any more than a 100 lbs man can lift a 400lbs man). The fact of the matter at hand is that they simply can't afford to bail them out. The banking system is just too big. 


As BoomBustBlog's above average prescience (see Pan-European sovereign debt crisis) and Reinhart and Rogoff, of This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly have clearly demonstrated, the source of the sovereigns debt problems is related DIRECTLY to the attempt to bailout insolvent banks, taking private sector losses upon public balance sheets, and eventually bankrupting the public state while doing nothing to fix the problems of the private banks, and ulitimately witnessing the private banks fail anyway.

I have predicted FIRE sector (including banks) failure at a commendable rate (see Did Reggie Middleton, a Blogger at BoomBustBlog, Best Wall

Subscribers, please reference the following documents analyzing the FIRE companies we see at risk as a result of the following circumstances.

We have reviewed the finance portion extensively throughout 2011. See Commercial & Investment Banks section of the subscription content area. This is the latest bank who we feel will suffere significant if the feces hits the fan blades  Bank Haircuts, Derivative Risks and Valuation.

I have also detailed the risks in commercial real estate in the Dutch markets, see

Now available for download to all paying subscribers is a US REIT headed for distress -  US Commercial REIT Distress Overview
(Commercial Real Estate)
. Professional and institutional subscribers will have an addendum published with additional companies that just missed the shortlist, but may see problems in the near to medium term.

Streets Best of the Best?). It's not rocket science, though. It's simply (and actually quite simple, since my 10 year old can do it) math, coupled with a pliable understanding of human nature couped in grasp of history. Listen, it was the (attempted) bailing out of the banking system that got these countries in this situation to begin with. Bailing out the banks just two years later??? Do you really thing that will help the sovereign debt situation or hurt it? If the bailout goes through, you eat the small losses (relative to the big gains that BoomBustBlog delivered subscribers) and roll your gains directly into bearish positions on the bailing sovereigns. It's really just that simple. Don't believe me, let's look at history, and remember that that is Germany being referenced in the graphic below, G-E-R-M-A-N-Y!!!


On that note and after a quick education on how this time is no diffeent than any other time in the past 800 years, let's revisist today's MSM headline, ala Bloomberg... 


Merkel’s Isolation Deepens As Draghi Criticizes Strategy 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was besieged by critics for letting the euro crisis smolder, with the leaders of Italy and the European Central Bank demanding bolder steps to stabilize the 17-nation economy.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and ECB President Mario Draghi pushed Germany to give up its opposition to direct euro- area aid for struggling banks. Monti further antagonized Germany by urging a roadmap to common borrowing.

Calling himself a devotee of German-style budgetary rigor, Monti told a Brussels conference yesterday that Merkel’s vision of a stable economy “risks being undermined because of lack of promptness in setting up the necessary instruments to limit the contagion.”

And therein lies the rub. You see, creating a direct conduit to zombie banks from teh ECB and bailout mechanisms will not limit contagion, it will materially exacerbate it by allowing the financial pathogens direct access to the mothership - the ECB! Look at the history of the western world for over 800 years. THE BAD BANK BAILOUT IDEALOGY SIMPLY HAS NOT WORKED, EVER!!!

Financial markets offered a snapshot of Europe’s stresses after more than two years of crisis, with the euro close to its weakest in two years against the dollar. German two-year note yields fell below zero today as investors paid for shelter from the market mayhem afflicting Italy and Spain.

“Countries that are at the core of the system and which have had the huge merit of instilling the culture of stability to the European Union in the first place, most notably Germany, should really reflect deeply but quickly,” Monti said via video link to the Brussels conference. “Europe should really accelerate the efforts, as the European Commission is doing, in order to limit the contagion.”

Oh yeah, I've commented on this in the past as well. What happens to a net export nation's economy when all of its export partners are in recession, depression, war and socio-political unrest while the banking system unfolds around them? The Biggest Threat To The 2012 Economy Is??? Not What Wall Street Is Telling You...

As Germany goes, so does the insurance industry's magically levitating FI porfolio. You see, German gains offset periphery losses. What happens when everyone realizes Gemany may be in the penthouse suite, but still resides in the same overindebted roach motel?

European banks are (in addition to borrowing on a secured basis from those customers they usually lend to) also paying insurers and pension funds to take their illiquid bonds in exchange for better quality ones, in a desperate bid to secure much-needed cash from the ECB, which only provides cash against collateral. This may not be as safe a measure as it sounds. Below is a sensitivity analysis of Generali's (a highly leveraged Italian insurer, subscribers see File Icon Exposure of European insurers to PIIGS) sovereign debt holdings.


As you can see, Generali is highly leveraged into PIIGS debt, with 400% of its tangible equity exposed. Despite such leveraged exposure, I calculate (off the cuff, not an in depth analysis) that it took a 10% hit to Tangible Equity. Now, that's a lot, but one would assume that it would have been much worse. What saved it? Diversification into Geman bunds, whose yield went negative, thus throwing off a 14% return. Not bad for alleged AAA fixed income. But let's face it, Germany lives in the same roach motel as the rest of the profligate EU, they just rent the penthouse suite! Remember, Germany is not in recession after a rip roaring bull run in its bonds, and I presume the recession should get much deeper since as a net exporter it has to faces its trading partners going broke. Below you see what happens if the bund returns were simply run along the historical trend line (with not extreme bullishness of the last year).


Companies such as Generali would instantly lose a third of their tangible equity. This is quite conservative, since the profligate states bonds would probably collapse unless the spreads shrink, which is highly doubtful. Below you see what would happen if bunds were to take a 10% loss.


That's right, a 10% loss in bunds translates into a near 50% loss in tangible equity to this insurer, which would realistically be 60% plus as the rest of the EU portfolio will compress in solidarity. Combine this with the fact that insurers operating results are facing historically unprecedented stress (see You Can Rest Assured That The Insurance Industry Is In For Guaranteed Losses!) and it's not hard to imagine marginal insurers seeing equity totally wiped out. The same situation is evident in banks and pension funds as well as real estate entities dependent on financing in the near to medium term - basically, the entire FIRE sector in both European and US markets (that's right, don't believe those who say the US banks have decoupled from Europe).


If you ddin't put your short on Generali back in 2010 when I first brought it to subscriber's attention, then it's too late now. It's not too late to jump on our latest insurance industry subject, though. The last forensic report was centered around an insurer - see You Can Rest Assured That The Insurance Industry Is In For Guaranteed Losses! and Our Next Forensic Analysis Subject Is In The Insurance Industry. The actual report is available here:

Bank runs are invevitable! 

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


This is how that document started off. Even if we were to disregard BNP's most serious liquidity and ALM mismatch issues, we still need to address the topic above. Now, if you were to employ the free BNP bank run models that I made available in the post "The BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" Model Available for Download"" (click the link to download your own copy of the bank run model, whether your a simple BoomBustBlog follower or a paid subscriber) you would know that the odds are that BNP's bond portfolio would probably take a much bigger hit than that conservatively quoted above.  Here I demonstrated what more realistic numbers would look like in said model... image008image008

Yes, European bank runs are inevitable, but the causes of the bank runs are not. That's the problem. Instead of addressing the root causes of the bank runs, EU decision makers opt to throw more paper money into a gaping furnace to be burned as fast as it can be shoveled. 

Since the problems have not been cured, they're literally guaranteed to come back and bite ass. Guaranteed! So, as suggested earlier on, download your appropriate BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" Models (they range from free up to institutional), read the balance of this article for perspective, then populate the assumptions and inputs with what you feel is realistic. I'm sure you will come up with conclusions similar to ours. Below is sample output from the professional level model (BNP Exposures - Professional Subscriber Download Version) that simulates the bank run that the news clippings below appear to be describing in detail...(Click to enlarge to printer quality)


A detailed and accurate picture of what is happening...

  1. Now That European Bank Run Contagion Has Started Skipping Across That Big Pond... US Bank Risk Stands Woefully Underappreciated!!!
  2. The BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" Model Available for Download
  3. BNP Bust Up: Yet Another Reason Why BNP Paribas Is Still Ripe For Implosion!
  4. Most Headlines Now Show French Bank Run Has Started, And It's Happening Just As Our Research Anticipated
  5. I Will Fly In The Face Of Common Wisdom & Walk Through A Run On BNP On International Television
  6. And The European Bank Run Continues...

A step by step tutorial on exactly how it will happen....

Stacy Summary: We interview Reggie Middleton about a run on French banks. I notice today that Pimco’s El-Erian is also talking about a run on French banks. He must have watched the Keiser Report when it aired from late last night PDT. We know you’re taking our shtick Mr. El-Erian, we’ve got our eye on you!

Go to 13:07 marker in the video, contrast and compare and consider watching the smaller more independent shows for the real scoop every now and then.

For some back ground on the "Kick the Can Triumvirate Three" [BBB Trademark], go to 20:50 in the video and dedicate 5 minutes to it...

My April presentation in Amsterdam as Keynote detailing the inevitable...

Amsterdam's VPRO Backlight and Reggie Middleton on brutal honesty, destructive derivatives and the "overbanked" status of many European sovereign nations

Amsterdam's VPRO Backlight and Reggie Middleton on brutal honesty, destructive derivatives and the "overbanked" status of many European sovereign nations

Again, I believe the next big thing, for when (not if, but when) European banks blow up, is the reverberation through American banks and how it WILL affect us stateside! Subscribers, be sure to be prepared. Puts are already quite costly, but there are other methods if you haven't taken your positions when the research was first released. For those who wish to subscribe, click here.

Note: This bank has members of its peer group who have been identified as at risk, but no one has pulled the covers off of this one as of yet. I think I may blow the whistle. It will be a doozy, and a potentially very profitable one at that since nearly 3/4 of it tangible equity is embroiled in a region that looks like it is about to blow up. As I type this, some of the puts have already doubled in price. I will be releasing additional analysis on this bank this weekend for paying subscribers.


Published in BoomBustBlog

Today's top MSM headline - European Commission Recommends Euro Banking Union:

The euro zone should move toward a banking union and consider recapitalizing its banks using its permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, the European Commission said on Wednesday, in remarks that briefly boosted stocksand the euro

The European Union's executive arm said in documents laying out recommendations for theeuro [EUR=X  1.2422 (-0.51%)]area that the crisis had slowed the financial integration process and "ambitious steps to accelerate and deepen financial integration may be needed."

"More specifically, a closer integration among the euro area countries in supervisory structures and practices, in cross-border crisis management and burden sharing, towards a 'banking union' would be an important complement to the current structure of [the Economic and Monetary Union]," the European Commission said in the documents.

"In the same vein, to sever the link between banks and the sovereigns, direct recapitalization by the ESM might be envisaged," it added.

Hmmmm... BoomBustBloggers crossed this intellectual Rubicon over 2 years ago. I was explicit in explaining that the bulk of the sovereign nations' debt woes stem from thier feeble and failed attempts to prop up their banking systems. I posted a refresher to this thesis a few weeks ago in So, Can Europe Nationalize All Of Its Troubled Banks? 

In a discussion that I had over at ZeroHedge there came the topic of whether bank runs are possible in Europe. Well, I believe we've already had some devastating one's (ex. Northern Rock) but if one takes the continent only or the EZ in particular, we still have a significant systemic threat. The gist behind the argument is that if the true economic capital is weakened to the point that depositors/creditors/counterparties make a run for it, the sovereign nation in which it is domiciled will simply nationalize it. Hmmm... Let's take a look at how that might work out, as excerpted from Overbanked, Underfunded, and Overly Optimistic: The New Face of Sovereign Europe March 2010

Literally years later, the sell side is now chiming in: Banks No Longer 'Float Above Their Countries': Deutsche

Banks' countries of origin have become important again. 

No shit, Sherlock!!!


 Most of the developed EU nations don't stand frozen raindrop's chance in hell of bailing out banking systems that are literally multiples of the GDP of the domiciles themselves. 


The problems is getting worse over time, not better, as risk, leverage and unrecognized NPAs continue to pack the banking system. 

I warned heavily last year about the connection between overleveraged, garbage laden banks and over-indebteded sovereigns...


Just as in the case of my call on the fall of Bear Stearns (again, I believe I was the only to make such a call so far in advance), this situation consists of something you NEVER hear in the media or investment circles. This is not merely a liquidity crisis of even a solvency crisis. For the first time in recent history, it is BOTH!!! As a matter of fact, it's not just both. There is a another problem that came into play, and it is the direct result of tomfoolery at the hands of the sovereings themselves. The games that they played to assist the banks in hiding thier problems has materially weakened the entire financial system by sowing rampant mistrust. Plain and simple, government endorsed lying has made the entire system afraid to do business with itself. Let's walk through this step by step.

The Liquidity Issue 

From The BoomBustBlog BNP Paribas "Run On The Bank" series...  "As The French Bank Runs...."... Saturday, 23 July 2011 The Anatomy Of A European Bank Run: Look At The Banking Situation BEFORE The Run Occurs!



The solvency issues

From the research note to subscribersFile Icon The Inevitability of Another Bank Crisis followed by the free blog posts on the same, see Is Another Banking Crisis Inevitable?

Impact of bank’s banking books on haircuts

EU banking book sovereign exposures are about five times larger than trading book. The table below gives sovereign exposure of major European countries for both trading and banking book. The EU trading book has €335bn of exposure while banking book has €1.7t exposure towards sovereign defaults. EU stress test estimated total write-down’s of €26bn as it only considered banks trading portfolio. This equated to implied haircut of 7.9% on trading portfolio with losses equating to 2.4% of Tier 1 capital. However, if the same haircuts (7.9% weighted average haircut) are applied to banking book then the loss would amount to €153bn equating to 13.8% of Tier 1 capital.

And last but not least...

The credibility crisis, whose sole responsibility lies dead center on the sovereigns themselves...


You see, as you bend the rules to reporting, you resuce the banks for a day, but doom them for a decade (or in the case of Japan, 2.4 decades!!!). Now, the counterparties simply CANNOT trust each other!


... and why should the counterparties trust each other when all are privvy to the games that they are playing on each other! 


Before government officials start crying innocent, remember the tricks that you youreselves have played to bring use where we are now. In case your memory is failing, simply review Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse! 

Now, I ask all... How in the world will grouping all of these increasingly unmanageable individual soveriegn problems cure the overall problem. By gathering all of the roaches into a big pile, you don't get less roaches - you just get a big pile of roaches! The bank failures will increase in both speed and intensity as time progresses and the drag will simply engulf the EU as a whole versus engulfing the states individually. At least individually, the better run states will recieve less pressure, and suffer through crossborder and financial contagion and counterparty risk rather than through this pooled method wherein direct pipes of contagion are being engineered to transmit the problems deep within each country. Does it sound like a good idea to you? I have my own ideas, of course....

How To Prevent Bailouts, Bank Runs & Other Fun Things To Do With Your Hard Earned Dollars

Subscribers, see 

I really want my subscribers to focus on this European bank, for it is primed to implode between its heavy derivative exposure  AND its sovereing exposure - Haircuts, Derivative Risks and Valuation
Later posts today will review my recent opinions on this bank in a little more datail as well as the related insurer at risk. Tomorrow we revisit what I believe to be a near slam dunk CRE short. I post graphs and profit potential as well. 
Published in BoomBustBlog


Reuters reports on Facebook:

"Morgan Stanley unexpectedly delivered some negative news to major clients: The bank's consumer Internet analyst, Scott Devitt, was reducing his revenue forecasts for the company. The sudden caution very close to the huge initial public offering, and while an investor roadshow was underway, was a big shock to some, said two investors who were advised of the revised forecast."

I query, exactly why shouldn't there be class action lawsuits? Seriously! I run a very small operation with a budget smaller than Morgan Stanley’s or Goldman's postage expense. Despite such I have been able to clearly and granularly articulate that Facebook was grossly overvalued a year ago while it was a private company being hawked by Goldman Sachs as a private placement - Facebook Registers The WHOLE WORLD! Or At Least They Would Have To In Order To Justify Goldman’s Pricing: Here’s What $2 Billion Or So Worth Of Goldman HNW Clients Probably Wish They Read This Time Last Week!

As the IPO approached and more specific info available, the overvaluation simply became stronger and more apparent; reference Shorting Federal Facebook Notes Are Not Allowed Today. So is that I and my team are really that smart (and handsome) or are there other factors at play? A little more than a year ago Bloomberg created a list of who they considered the top performing analysts and brokers from the sell side. I was literally offended by how bad the performance actually was, especially when compared to an independent investor/analyst, reference Did Reggie Middleton, a Blogger at BoomBustBlog, Best Wall Street’s Best of the Best?

Again, miraculously, Reggie Middleton and BoomBustBlog somehow managed to out run ALL of the big boys. As much as I would love to say  I’m simply better than ALL of those big boys, the reality of the matter is that I’m simply significantly less conflicted. The big banks have the resources and intellectual capital to run circles around me if they really wanted to. The problem is that really don’t want to. It is much more profitable to take agency commissions and principal transaction profits (as ZH often identifies as front running) from your clients than it is to wisely counsel them in investments. This is particularly true if they will keep coming back to you after getting raped, again and again.

I have written extensively on this, forming a quasi-scientific discipline of study, colloquially known as Muppetology:-) See the links below for more on this new branch of psychology/social science as it applies to finance and investments...

Goldman Sachs Executive Director Corroborates Reggie Middleton's Stance: Business Model Designed To Walk Over Clients

For Those That Want To Take A Peek Inside the Professional BoomBustBlog Paywall, Here's All of My Groupon Research - MUPPETS!!!

Apple's iPad Is Losing Market Share And Profit Margin As Apple Hits All Time High 

The Conundrum of Commercial Real Estate Stocks: In a CRE "Near Depression", Why Are REIT Shares Still So High and Which Ones to Short?

Wall Street Real Estate Funds Lose Between 61% to 98% for Their Investors as They Rake in Fees!

Wall Street is Back to Paying Big Bonuses. Are You Sharing in this New Found Prosperity?

Reggie Middleton vs Goldman Sachs, part 1For Those Who Chose Not To Heed My Warning About Buying Products From Name Brand Wall Street Banks

Blog vs. Broker, whom do you trust!

Reggie Middleton Personally Congratulates Goldman, but Questions How Much More Can Be Pulled Off





Published in BoomBustBlog

The  day before yesterday I posted Who Will Be The Next JPM? Simply Review The BoomBustBlog Archives For The Answer. It was actually a very, very instructional post for although I run a subscription research service, there are troves of extremely insightful information buried in the archives - much of it available for free. It is actually ironic that one could have used the actual paid product to have predicted the events of this year with unerring accuracy two years ago, and using much of the same names from the 2008/9 archives profited heavily from the financial names that gave up 20% of the last few weeks. The more things change, the more they remain the same, eh? Which brings us to one of the first big warnings published on BoomBustBlog way back on Thursday, 08 May 2008: Counterparty risk analyses - counter-party failure will open up another Pandora's box (must read for anyone who is not a CDS specialist)

Creation of colossal US$45 trillion CDS market may unfold into trouble larger than that of the subprime (really to be read as imprudent underwriting) crisis

The creation of the massive US$45 trillion CDS market in the last few years, which faces some unique problems, can unfold into a massive bubble collapse that would easily dwarf that of the subprime crisis. The CDS are supposed to cover the losses of banks and bondholders in the event of default by companies. However, the CDS market has evolved from being primarily a means to hedge credit risk to a speculative and trading platform for a large number of banks and hedge funds. If the corporate defaults surge in the coming quarters (as Reggie Middleton, LLC expects them to) or there is default in payments of coupon and principal amounts, this could lead to a crisis far worse than what we have seen so far in the current “asset securitization crisis” and quite possibly in the recent history of the financial system. The high yield default rate has increased significantly (125%) in the last few quarters from 0.4% in 1Q 07 to almost 0.9% in 1Q 08. In addition, the monolines which are under considerable stress and play the role of both counterparty as well as the reference entity in the CDS market could spell major trouble for the market participants.

Spectacular growth of credit risk transfer instruments


Fastforward five full years, and has anybody learned there lesson? Well, prance through the recent BoomBustBlog headlines to find the answer:

If you don't trust the thoroughly researched, high end alternative info sources such as BoomBustBlog, realize that today Bloomberg reports U.S. Banks Sold More Insurance on Europe Debt, as annotated and excerpted: 

U.S. banks increased sales of protection against credit losses to holders of Greek, Portuguese, Irish, Spanish and Italian debt in the last quarter of 2011 as the European debt crisis escalated.

Well you can't say they didn't see this coming, for I warned throughout 2010 via the Pan-European sovereign debt crisis series.

Guarantees provided by U.S. lenders on government, bank and corporate debt in those countries rose 10 percent from the previous quarter to $567 billion, according to the most recent data from the Bank for International Settlements. Those guarantees refer to credit-default swaps written on bonds.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., two of the top CDS underwriters in the U.S., say they have bought more protection than they sold, indicating they may benefit from defaults in the region. That outcome is called into question by JPMorgan’s $2 billion loss on similar derivatives, which shows that risks don’t vanish when offsetting bets are taken, said Craig Pirrong, a finance professor at the University of Houston. “All these hedges trade one risk for another,” said Pirrong, whose research focuses on derivatives markets.

EXACTLY!!!! Risk doesn't disappear when you buy a hedge, it's simply shifted and transformed. In the case of the aforementioned 2008 article and my ramblings about the banks and insurers, naked credit (and market, depending on how the hedge was constructed) risk was simply traded for counterparty risk. With 96% of notional derivative exposure concentrated in just 6 banks - all with excessive leverage, opaque VouDou accounting (Sak Passe'), and tummy full of hidden NPAs amongst one of the worst macro environments of several lifetimes , one must question, "Is the counterparty risk one just assumed greater than the credit/market risk sold, combined?"

“The banks say they’re flat on European risk, but that’s based on aggregated positions. We don’t know how those will hold off if the European crisis blows up.”

JPMorgan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said last week that the bank was trying to reposition a portfolio of corporate credit derivatives and used a flawed trading strategy. The lender, the largest in the U.S. by assets, is believed to have sold protection on an index of corporate debt and bought protection on the same index to hedge its initial bet, according to market participants who asked not to be identified because their trading strategies aren’t public.

The two bets moved in opposite directions this year, causing losses and proving that even hedges that look perfect can break down, Pirrong said.

Once again for the unitiated, shall we?

Reggie Middleton on CNBC's Squawk on the Street - 10/19/2010

Mr. Middleton discusses JP Morgan, bank risk and technology and is the only pundit in the financial media that we know of that called Apple's margin compression issues and did so successfully just hours before they reported! Click here or click below to see the video.

Here's a subscription dump of our archives for JPM to placate the insatiable thirst of the BoomBustBlog paid subscriber:


For those who have not read my seminal piece on Dimon's house of Morgan, file iconJPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription published nearly three years ago, allow me to take the liberty to excerpt it for you...








JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan said in a regulatory filing that it purchased $144 billion of CDS related to the five European countries as of the end of the first quarter, while it sold $142 billion. Goldman Sachs (GS) bought $175 billion of protection and sold $164 billion, the firm said in its filing.... Bank of America Corp.Morgan Stanley (MS) and Citigroup Inc. (C) report only net CDS exposures. The five banks together account for 96 percent of the credit-derivatives market in the U.S., according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. JPMorgan has written a quarter of the total, the OCC data show.

And here's the BoomBustBlog version of events:

 I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On The Spear Tip, Part 1 & IntroductionI'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On The Spear Tip, Part 1 & Introduction  

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

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...

Reggie Middleton Serves Up Fried Calamari From Raw Squid: Goldman Sachs and Market Perception of Real Risks!Reggie Middleton Serves Up Fried Calamari From Raw Squid: Goldman Sachs and Market Perception of Real Risks!

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

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...

Matched Protection

Not all protection sold by banks is matched exactly by protection bought. CDS purchased and sold on Spanish sovereign debt can have different expiration dates. Banks also can net a swap on a Spanish bank with one on another lender. Even if those two firms are in a similar condition at the time of the trades, one could deteriorate faster, increasing the cost of CDS.

Some of the swaps sold by U.S. banks were bought by European lenders trying to reduce exposure to the five so-called peripheral countries. Since it’s considered insurance, a German bank can subtract the value of the contracts it purchased on Spanish debt from the total value of its holdings, with the understanding that if Spain doesn’t make good on its payment, the CDS underwriter will pay instead.

British, German and French banks’ loans to the five countries were reduced by 5 percent in the fourth quarter to $1.33 trillion, according to the BIS data. That was a $73 million decrease compared with the $53 million increase in U.S. banks’ CDS exposure to the periphery.

... Bank Losses

More than half of the CDS related to Spain, Italy and Portugal were to protect defaults by companies in those countries, not the government, according to data compiled by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., which runs a central registry for over-the-counter derivatives. About a quarter of the total in each country was protection on bank debt.

As banks in the five countries face mounting losses and funding strains, it’s impossible to model accurately how the risk on different institutions will change, Rowady said. Government and central bank interventions in markets can also upset correlations in those models, he said.

Now, I wouldn't go so far to say that it's impossible. After all, we did it and BoomBustBlog subscribers benefitted from it. Reference The BoomBustBlog Contagion Model: How We Predicted 9 Months Ago That The UK and Sweden Would Rush To Bail Out Ireland, and Why and Introducing The BoomBustBlog Sovereign Contagion Model: Thus far, it has been right on the money for 5 months straight!.

The BoomBustBlog Sovereign Contagion Model

Nearly every MSM analysts roundup attempts to speculate on who may be next in the contagion. We believe we can provide the road map, and to date we have been quite accurate. Most analysis looks at gross claims between countries, which of course can be very illuminating, but also tends to leave out many salient points and important risks/exposures.

foreign claims of PIIGSforeign claims of PIIGSforeign claims of PIIGS

In order to derive more meaningful conclusions about the risk emanating from the cross border exposures, it is essential to closely scrutinize the geographical break down of the total exposure as well as the level of risk surrounding each component. We have therefore developed a Sovereign Contagion model which aims to quantify the amount of risk weighted foreign claims and contingent exposure for major developed countries including major European countries, the US, Japan and Asia major.

I.          Summary of the methodology

  • We have followed a bottom-up approach wherein we have first identified the countries/regions with high financial risk either owing to rising sovereign risk (ballooning government debt and fiscal deficit) or structural issues including remnants from the asset bubble collapse, declining GDP, rising unemployment, current account deficits, etc. For the purpose of our analysis, we have selected PIIGS, CEE, Middle East (UAE and Kuwait), China and closely related countries (Korea and Malaysia), the US and UK as the trigger points of the financial risk dissemination across the analysed developed countries.
  • In order to quantify the financial risk emanating in the selected regions (trigger points), we looked into the probability of the risk event happening due to three factors - a) government default b) private sector default c) social unrest. The probabilities for each factor were arrived on the basis of a number of variables determining the relative weakness of the country. The aggregate risk event probability for each country (trigger point) is the average of the risk event probability due to the three factors.
  • Foreign claims of the developed countries against the trigger point countries were taken as the relevant exposure. The exposures of each developed country were expressed as % of its respective GDP in order to build a relative scale for inter-country comparison.
  • The risk event probability of the trigger point countries was multiplied by the respective exposure of the developed countries to arrive at the total risk weighted exposure of each developed country.
  • File Icon Sovereign Contagion Model - Retail - contains introduction, methodology summary, and findings
  • File Icon Sovereign Contagion Model - Pro & Institutional - contains all of the above as well as a very detailed methodology map that explains what went into the model across dozens of countries.

Latest Pan-European Sovereign Risk Non-bank Subscription Research

Back to Bloomberg...

Last week, Spain’s government took control of Bankia SA (BKIA), the country’s third-largest lender, and asked banks to increase provisions for souring real estate loans. Losses of Spanish banks could top 380 billion euros, according to the Centre for European Policy Studies. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the credit ratings of 16 Spanish banks yesterday and 26 Italian lenders earlier this week.

Oh yeah, we caught Spain too - as far back as 2008/9/10. Yes, the Spain pain was apparent 4 years ago. Follow the BoomBustBlog archives, starting with a post from this month The Spain Pain Will Not Wane: Continuing the Contagion Saga and going back to '09 - The Spanish Inquisition is About to Begin... and even farther back to '08 - Reggie Middleton on the New Global Macro - the Forensic Analysis of a Spanish Bank. Back to the Bloomberg article...

Counterparty Failure

Counterparty failure is another risk for banks selling insurance on the debt of the five counties. When a swap is triggered by default, a bank could find that a client who sold the protection can’t pay. The firm still has to make good on its promise to pay whoever bought protection.

Lenders try to mitigate this risk by asking for collateral from their counterparties as the value of CDS or other derivative changes. Dexia SA (DEXB) failed in October when the bank faced 47 billion euros of such margin calls on interest-rate swaps it sold. If Dexia hadn’t been bailed out by Belgium and France, it wouldn’t have been able to put up the collateral, causing losses for its unidentified counterparties.

U.S. banks didn’t suffer losses when swaps on Greek sovereign debt were paid out in March because prices of CDS had surged and collateral was collected in advance, according to Francis Longstaff, a finance professor at the University of California Los Angeles. While collateral protects middlemen from counterparty risk, there could be unexpected losses if the price of CDS doesn’t rise to reflect an imminent default, he said.

“Sudden defaults would shock the market because then you wouldn’t have the collateral to cover the full payment,” Longstaff said.

Banks also may discover that collateral they hold might not be worth as much, said University of Houston’s Pirrong. That happened in 2008 when banks saw the value of mortgage-related securities held as collateral plummet.

“Collateral is a great way to protect yourself,” Pirrong said. “But when the financial system is in a crisis, you might end up holding an empty bag.”

All of the afore-linked articles and info should lead one to do as I did, and query Is The Entire Global Banking Industry Carrying Naked, Unhedged "Risk Free" Sovereign Debt Yielding 100-200%? Quick Answer: Probably! Of course, I could always be more direct and simply state, Squids, Morgans & Counterparty Risk: Blowing Up The World One Tentacle At A Time. Honestly, though, how is it that so few banks (five or six) can attain and allegedly hedge hundreds of trillions of dollars of exposure, yet assert they only have billions of dollars of risk? Asked in a more laymen, ex. common sense fashion, So, When Does 3+5=4? When You Aggregate A Bunch Of Risky Banks & Then Pretend That You Didn't?

Here's a list of archives to browse through for those very few who actually give a damn... 

  1. Listen Carefully and You Can Hear the Crumbling Of The Sovereign Nation Formerly Known As JP Morgan
  2. A Few Quick Comments On Goldman's Q4 2011 Results
  3. CNBC Favorite Dick Bove Admits To Being Wrong On Banks, But For The Right Reasons, But Those Reasons Are Still Wrong!!!
  4. Yes, The BoomBustBlog Forecast Pan-European Bank Run Has Breached American Soil!!!
  5. What Was That I Heard About Squids Raising Capital Because They Can't Trade?
  6. BNP, the Fastest Running Bank In Europe? Banque BNP Exécuter
  7. Reggie Middleton vs the Squid That Can't Trade!
  8. The Greco-Franco Bank Run Has Skipped the Pond, Landed in NY/Chicago and Nobody Noticed, Exactly As I Predicted!
  9. The Ironic, Prophetic Nature of the MF Global Bankruptcy Filing and It's Potential Ramifications
  10. On Challenges To The Mainstream Financial Channels, BofA's (In)Solvency and Long-Only Pundits Dominating the MSM
  11. The Street's Most Intellectually Aggressive Analysis: We've Found What Bank of America Hid In Your Bank Account!
The next post on this topic will outline and illustrate subscription content concerning several banks and insurers whom the agencies need to downgrade NOW, as in RIGHT NOW. These banks are, of course, JPM counterparties. In the meantime and in between time, follow me:
  • Follow us on Blogger
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Published in BoomBustBlog

On Monday, 23 April 2012 I posted "It's Official & As I Foretold Years Ago, Greece Is Now In A True Depression As Reality Hits Greek Banks", roughly 2 years after penning 

How Greece Killed Its Own Banks!. Well, guess what!? The Wall Street Journal’s report, “Greek Depositors Withdrew $898 Million From Banks Monday”:

Greek depositors withdrew €700 million ($898 million) from the country's banks on Monday, fueling fears of a bank run amid the growing political disarray.

With deposits falling, Greek banks become even more dependent on the European Central Bank to meet their funding needs, exposing the central bank to potentially huge losses if Greece leaves the euro area.

Greek President Karolos Papoulias told the country's political leaders that bank withdrawals plus buy orders received by Greek banks for German bunds totaled some €800 million on Monday, a transcript of his comments said. A central bank official confirmed the figures.

Wait until a 2nd Greek default (virtually guaranteed as we supplied user downloadable models to see for yourself, the same model used to forecast the 1st default) mirrors history. Of the 181 yrs as a sovereign nation after gaining independence, Greece been in default 58 of them. Don't believe me! Check your history, or just read more BoomBustBlog - Sophisticated Ignorance Or Just A Very, Very Short Term Memory? Foolish Talk of German Bailouts Once Again...


Greece's default will hit an already bank NPA laden Spain quite hard: The Spain Pain Will Not Wane: Continuing the Contagion Saga and ditto with Italy "As We Assured Clients Two Years Ago, Italy's Riding The Broken Promise Express To Restructuring". Once Italy gets hit, the true bank runs will start as socialist France (the so-called half of the EU anchor) loses control of its bankinsg system. Reference "As The French Bank Runs....": 

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


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!

I also provided a very informative document for public consumption which clearly detailed exactly how this French bank collapse thing is likely to go down: File Icon French Bank Run Forensic Thoughts - pubic preview for Blog - A freebie, to illustrate what all of you non-subscribers are missing!

So, What's the Next Shoe To Drop? Read on...

For those who claim I may be Euro bashing, rest assured - I am not. Just a week or two later, I released research on a big US bank that will quite possibly catch Franco-Italiano Ponzi Collapse fever, with the pro document containing all types of juicy details. This is the next big thing, for when (not if, but when) European banks blow up, it WILL affect us stateside! Subscribers, be sure to be prepared. Puts are already quite costly, but there are other methods if you haven't taken your positions when the research was first released. For those who wish to subscribe, click here.


Published in BoomBustBlog

So, in today's news we have Greek bank runs (again), remnants of JP Morgan yield grab gone bananas, and European Banks Battered As Reality Sets In. I know there has to be at at least a small contingent of you who truly don't want to hear me say "I told you so". Well, guess what I have to say to that small contingent...

Better yet guess what very popular American bank has their fingers in all three of the fires fanning above? You see, I not only warned of a European bank collapse nearly three years ago, I actually went on a European banking collapse tour throughout, of all places, Europe!

 The bank run thingy was actually a foregone conclusion. Greece is only step one, albeit a very obvious step one, but still the first step nonetheless - reference How Greece Killed Its Own Banks!, written exactly TWO years ago - Tuesday, 27 April 2010. The MSM should stop harping on Greece, its done. The real story is what will Greece's bust bring about. Well, there are quite a few banks in much 'allegedly" stronger domiciles primed to do the 'ole accelerated one-two step (that's bank run for those without a sense of humor), reference "How to Prevent Bailouts, Bank Runs and Other Fun Things To Do With Your Hard Earned Dollars". 

Now, the question for the truly big boys is what happens after the inevitable Pan-European bank runs get started. Well, the answer to that is already stored in the BoomBustBlog archives. Come on, y'all, where the strategists, the chess players, those who are able to look more than two moves ahead. I made this post so, now others may start "Hunting the Squid", looking at JPM Morgan as the sovereign entity that it wants to be and DB as the leveraged powder keg that it appears. Then there's BNP, HSBC and BofA. You heard it all here first. Despite that, the MSM has put analysts in the consistent spotlight who I feel (without intending to disrespect them, of course) have been serially incorrect on banks. I have addressed this in my blog posts, namely Question the Quality Of BoomBustBlog Bank Research, Will You? Bove and Fitch Follow "The Blog"! and CNBC Favorite Dick Bove Admits To Being Wrong On Banks, But For The Right Reasons, But Those Reasons Are Still Wrong!!!

You see, with things crumbling so predictably, I don't have to do much along the lines of new content or writing. This entire mess has already been laid out in my archives, and in rather illustrious detail. Let's start archive grabbing with...

Goldman Sachs

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: 

  1. I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On A Spear Tip, Part 1 & Introduction
  2. Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?"
  3. Reggie Middleton Serves Up Fried Calamari From Raw Squid: Market Perceptions of Real Risk in Goldman Sachs

So, what else can go wrong with the Squid? 

Plenty! 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...


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...

And for those who may not be sure of the significance, please review my presentation as the Keynote Speaker at the ING Real Estate Valuation Seminar in Amsterdam, below. After all, for all intents and purposes, Dexia has officially collapsed - [CNBC] France, Belgium Pledge Aid for Struggling Dexia... and its a good chance that it's a matter of time before BNP follows suit - exactly as BoomBustBlog predicted for paying subsccribers way back in July.

A step by step tutorial on exactly how it will happen....

 The European banking debacle was predicted at the start of 2010, a full year and a half before this has come to a head. If I could have seen it so clearly, why couldn't the banking industry and its regulators?

Now, back to GS, and considering all of the European falllout coming down the pike, of which Goldman is heavily leveraged into, particulary France (say BNP/Dexia/etc.)...


Let's go over exactly how GS is exposed following the logic outlined in the graphic before this series of videos, as excerpted from subscriber document Goldmans Sachs Derivative Exposure: The Squid in the Coal Mine?, pages 3,4 and 5.


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...


Published in BoomBustBlog

S&P and Fitch finally downgrade JP Morgan, 3 years after my initial multimedia warnings (see Listen Carefully...  for the details). Unfortunately, despite threats and ruminations, these rating agencies again act in retrospect, failing to do anything but remind stakeholders of the losses they have already taken rather than assisting them in avoiding losses.

So, what are the rating agencies missing?  They're missing the fact that nearly all of the big money center banks are doing exactly what JPM was doing and they have no one to rely upon but themselves when things go awry from a counterparty perspective. Bennie Bernanke has instituted perpetual ZIRP, and as such has basically broken the banking business in his attempt to save it. Through ZIRP, banks simply cannot make money doing things that traditional banks do, ex. profit from lending. As such, they reach for yield, and that's just the conservative ones. The big boys take baseball bats swinging for home runs, either consciously or subconsciously sanguine in the protection of the Bernanke flavored taxpayer put under their respective businesses. With such protection, already historically proven, bank managers are getting progressively more aggressive and increasingly less aware of the term "RISK adjusted reward" as they simply seek rewards. Alas, I'm getting ahead of myself, let me explain...

JPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription Final 092209 Page 07JPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription Final 092209 Page 07 copy

The JPM prop desk that held the losses which generated headlines earlier this week was marketed as a hedging operation when we all know it was anything but. What it was was a concerted grasp for yield and profit in a ZIRP environment where JPM (one of the world's largest congregations of interest bearing assets) was bearing effectively no interest.

Banks need to make money too, hence when there's no money to be made in traditional FI yields, the banks start reaching, and they tend to start reaching farther as desperation to make the next quarter mounts in the face of BoomBustBlog reading investors who may be able to see past earnings stuffing stemming from less than prudent reserve releases consistent underprovisioning.


 The BoomBustBlog subscriber document JPM Q1 2011 Review & Analysis illustrates the point of JPM's waning ability to make money by making loans and holding debt with perfect clarity, and did so a year in advance....

 JPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription Final 092209 Page 09


So, what do you do if you're a bank but you can't make money lending? You gamble, that's what you do! It's not like JPM hasn't gambled before, and it's not like they haven't lost money gambling...


I put out what I consider to be some of the best predictive research available. I also put an inordinate amount of info out for absolutely free, particularly in the case of those big names as in the employer of Voldemort. For those who have not read my seminal piece on Dimon's house of Morgan, file iconJPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription published nearly three years ago, allow me to take the liberty to excerpt it for you...

Hmmm... Tell me if you get stuff like this from the rating agencies.... This is a good time to bring up that Interesting Documentary on the Power of Rating Agencies, with Reggie Middleton Excerpts

Continuing my rant on the effectiveness (not) of the ratings agencies, I bring to you an interesting documentary on the rating agencies' effect on the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, produced by VPRO Tegenlicht out of Amsterdam. You can see the full video here, but only about half of it is in English. I appear in the following spots: 4:00, 22:30, 40:00...  Reggie Middleton Discussing the Rating Agencies effect on Sovereign Europe

The next post on this topic will outline and illustrate several banks whom the agencies need to downgrade NOW, as in RIGHT NOW. These banks are, of course, JPM counterparties. In the meantime and in between time, follow me:

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Here's a subscription dump of our archives for JPM to placate the insatiable thirst of the BoomBustBlog paid subscriber:



Published in BoomBustBlog

First, pardon my tardy response to this JP Morgan news. I'm currently in Europe and was jet-lagged asleep when this popped. Of course, BoomBustBloggers know that I will be on the case. To begin with, a summary as pulled from ZeroHedge

In Corporate, within the Corporate/Private Equity segment, net income (excluding Private Equity results and litigation expense) for the second quarter is currently estimated to be a loss of approximately $800 million. (Prior guidance for Corporate quarterly net income (excluding Private Equity results, litigation expense and nonrecurring significant items) was approximately $200 million.) Actual second quarter results could be substantially different from the current estimate and will depend on market levels and portfolio actions related to investments held by the Chief Investment Office (CIO), as well as other activities in Corporate during the remainder of the quarter.

Since March 31, 2012, CIO has had significant mark-to-market losses in its synthetic credit portfolio, and this portfolio has proven to be riskier, more volatile and less effective as an economic hedge than the Firm previously believed. The losses in CIO's synthetic credit portfolio have been partially offset by realized gains from sales, predominantly of credit-related positions, in CIO's AFS securities portfolio. As of March 31, 2012, the value of CIO's total AFS securities portfolio exceeded its cost by approximately $8 billion. Since then, this portfolio (inclusive of the realized gains in the second quarter to date) has appreciated in value.

The Firm is currently repositioning CIO's synthetic credit portfolio, which it is doing in conjunction with its assessment of the Firm's overall credit exposure. As this repositioning is being effected in a manner designed to maximize economic value, CIO may hold certain of its current synthetic credit positions for the longer term.

Accordingly, net income in Corporate likely will be more volatile in future periods than it has been in the past.

The Firm faces a variety of exposures resulting from repurchase demands and litigation arising out of its various roles as issuer and/or underwriter of mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) offerings in private-label securitizations. It is possible that these matters will take a number of years to resolve and their ultimate resolution is currently uncertain. Reserves for such matters may need to be increased in the future; however, with the additional litigation reserves taken in the first quarter of 2012, absent any materially adverse developments that could change management’s current views, JPMorgan Chase does not currently anticipate further material additions to its litigation reserves for mortgage-backed securities-related matters over the remainder of the year. 

All of this is coming form the just filed 10-Q. The full link is here. 

Now, just so those who have not followed me for some time don't get it twisted, I want all to know that I'm a longer term strategist. I'm not a trader! As such, I don't focus on daily stock prices or live my life quarter to quarter. What I do is paint the big picture over time. I'm not magic, I'm not always right, but I am honest. In addition, although I'm not always right, I have been right over 90% of the time since the beginning of the credit bubble in 2000 to date. To wit regarding JP Morgan, on September 18th 2009 I penned the only true Independent Look into JP Morgan that I know of. It went a little something like this:

Click graph to enlarge


Cute graphic above, eh? There is plenty of this in the public preview. 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. 

This public preview is the culmination of several investigative posts that I have made that have led me to look more closely into the big money center banks. It all started with a hunch that JPM wasn't marking their WaMu portfolio acquisition accurately to market prices (see Is JP Morgan Taking Realistic Marks on its WaMu Portfolio Purchase? Doubtful! ), which would very well have rendered them insolvent - particularly if that was the practice for the balance of their portfolio as well (see Re: JP Morgan, when I say insolvent, I really mean insolvent). I then posted the following series, which eventually led to me finally breaking down and performing a full forensic analysis of JP Morgan, instead of piece-mealing it with anecdotal analysis.

    1. The Fed Believes Secrecy is in Our Best Interests. Here are Some of the Secrets
    2. Why Doesn't the Media Take a Truly Independent, Unbiased Look at the Big Banks in the US?
    3. As the markets climb on top of one big, incestuous pool of concentrated risk...
    4. Any objective review shows that the big banks are simply too big for the safety of this country
    5. Why hasn't anybody questioned those rosy stress test results now that the facts have played out?

You can download the public preview here. If you find it to be of interest or insightful, feel free to distribute it (intact) as you wish.

JPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription JPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription 2009-09-18 00:56:22 488.64 Kb

Reggie Middleton on CNBC's Squawk on the Street - 10/19/2010

Mr. Middleton discusses JP Morgan, bank risk and technology and is the only pundit in the financial media that we know of that called Apple's margin compression issues and did so successfully just hours before they reported! Click here or click below to see the video.

Reggie Middleton with Max Keiser on the Keiser Report and RT Television - Discussing JP Morgan, Derivatives, Fraudclosure and the US Oligarchy

Here I discuss JP Morgan's suffering from ZIRP and bad mortgages (still), hence the losses that JPM's Dimon was just bitching about a year or two later - simply reference the MSM JPMorgan's DimonMortgage Woes Still Hit Earnings.

Look at the video below where I warn of JP Morgan's derivative business, and where I was just about the ONLY one warning that JPM's risk is simply a time bomb waiting to go BANG! Guess what I just heard? That's right! BANG!!!

Also, take note of how I said that JP Morgan WILL NOT be in this significant loss on its own. It's counterparties exist in a very, very small pool, and I doubt if any of them really have the truly economic capital to back these losses. They will simply turn to their counterparties who will in turn turn to their counterparties. The only problem is that this counterparty past the buck daisy chain is only 5 or 6 banks long. What do you think happens when this game of musical chairs comes to an end? Buy the MFD!!!

Of course, you know I'm going to say "I told you so!" Reference So, When Does 3+5=4? When You Aggregate A Bunch Of Risky Banks & Then Pretend That You Didn't? and then Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored? You see, in said piece, ZeroHedge dutifully reported that Five Banks Account For 96% Of The $250 Trillion In Outstanding US Derivative Exposure- a very interesting refresh of what I called out two years ago through "The Next Step in the Bank Implosion Cycle???":

The amount of bubbliciousness, overvaluation and risk in the market is outrageous, particularly considering the fact that we haven't even come close to deflating the bubble from earlier this year and last year! Even more alarming is some of the largest banks in the world, and some of the most respected (and disrespected) banks are heavily leveraged into this trade one way or the other. The alleged swap hedges that these guys allegedly have will be put to the test, and put to the test relatively soon. As I have alleged in previous posts (As the markets climb on top of one big, incestuous pool of concentrated risk... ), you cannot truly hedge multi-billion risks in a closed circle of only 4 counterparties, all of whom are in the same businesses taking the same risks.

Click to expand!


Again, from ZeroHedge

... and just for some clarity on how this occurred. We know the positions that Iksil held were in IG9 (more likely to be tranches) but this $2bn loss comes from a tiny 12bps decompression in the index - which means the DV01 must be huge...(as we already knew given the massive rise in net notional that we warned about)...

This is the Investment Grade credit index series 9 - which is the most active tranche-related index and was the index that Iksil had driven massively rich to its fair-value...

Of course, there's more to this story. After all, there is NEVER just one roach. I will cover that in my next post on the topic, which will entail COUNTERPARTY RISK. That's right, do you really think this will effect just JP Morgan?  In the meantime and in between time, here's a subscription dump of our archives for JPM to placate the insatiable thirst of the BoomBustBlog paid subscriber:



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