RANsquawk 12th March Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc.
And The Lehman Disclosure Hits Just Keep On Coming; If Fuld Has Not Yet Left The Country, Doing So ASAP May Be A Very Good IdeaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/12/2010 - 00:11
Reading through the thousands and thousands of pages of Valukas' report has proven, as we suspected early today, quite entertaining. After having first uncovered the Repo 105 accounting gimmick, and E&Y (and, in a normal society, Tim Geithner) coffin nail, we are convinced that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and sure enough, as we read along, more stunners come to light. We will update this post with new discoveries, but for now, we present the episode of the Fenway Tri-Party Repo Market Clusterfuck ("FTPRMC"), The Part Where Lehman Lied To Its Shareholders, And The SEC Gets The Middle Finger (Again), and the parable of Ben Bernanke's And His Scale Of 0 To 100 Of Systemic Fuckedupedness.
UniCredit Bank Warns Of Plunge In Sterling And Gilts, As Britain Is Next Country "To Be Pummeled By Investors"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2010 - 21:34
Kornelius Purps, director of fixed income at Europe's second-largest bank, UniCredit, has issued a stark warning to clients who wish to invest in the Britain: "I am becoming convinced that Great Britain is the next country that is
going to be pummelled by investors." Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports reports that "Mr Purps said the UK had been cushioned at first by low debt levels but the
pace of deterioration has been so extreme that the country can no longer
count on market tolerance" and that "Britain's AAA-rating is highly at risk. The budget deficit is huge at
13pc of GDP and investors are not happy. The outgoing government is inactive
due to the election. There will have to be absolute cuts in public salaries
or pay, but nobody is talking about that." And everyone was wondering why the U in STUPID stand for UK (actally make that just CNBC, who never really bothered to even read the original definition). So can the whole sovereign default wave skip the PIIS and go straight to the U?
The "Repo 105" Scam: How Lehman Fooled Everyone (Including Allegedly Dick Fuld) And How Other Banks Are Likely Doing This Right NowSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2010 - 18:53
Presenting a detailed look at "Repo 105" - the next soundbite sure to fill the airwaves over the next weeks and months, as more and more banks are uncovered to be using this borderline criminal accounting gimmick to make their leverage ratios look better. This is the first time we have heard this loophole abuse by a bank, be it defunct (Lehman) or existing (everyone else). There should be an immediate investigation into how many other banks are currently taking advantage of this artificial scheme to manipulate and misrepresent their cap ratio, and just why the New York Fed can claim it had no idea of this very critical component of the Shadow Economy.
We present the first two volumes (out of 9) of the massive 2,200 page compendium that represents the just declassified examiner's report in the Lehman bankruptcy case. We will post the other volumes shortly. Below are the key findings from a quick perusal of Anton Valukas' report, which we will be combing through over the next week. Pay particular attention to the Repo 105 scam which allows banks to materially misrepresent their leverage ratios whenever they so choose, thank you FASB, corrupt auditors (in this case E&Y) and Federal Reserve.
Joe Saluzzi Discusses Why This Is Now A "Jason Bourne" Market In Which Everyone Just Keeps An Eye Out For The ExitsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2010 - 17:15
Themis Trading's Joe Saluzzi once again points out the flaws in the all clear psychology, and that if only we can break 1,150 on the S&P (which we just did), we are headed straight to 36,000 on the Dow (although as we are now in a fully blown melt up as we pointed out last week, we very well might). As Saluzzi says, we find ourselves in a "A momentum driven, fragmented equity market. What we see is a very lite volume morning normally, jacked up really fast by a couple of programs that come in, and then you get this churn most of the day. There is not a lot of conviction out there." And the reason why the market closed above 1,150 (1,150.24 on the last print to be specific - what a computer programmed joke) today as a last minute buy program ramps up: "This market is built on lies and rumors." (a topic previously discussed on Zero Hedge). Technicals and algos rule, and the Fed will take care of all the rest. And the faster one's reactions (on the exit button)the better, which is why if one is an Xbox gaming champion and 18 years old or younger, Getco and Goldman will hire you on the spot. According to Saluzzi, this observation has lead to a new nickname: this is now "the Jason Bourne market, because when he goes into a room, the first thing he checks for is where the three exits are. How do I get out. That's what investors are doing."
The 2,200 page report prepared by examiner Anton Valukas detailing the collapse of Lehman Brothers, will be declassified, as, according to wifebeater Judge Peck, it reads like a "bestseller", and is "one of the most extraordinary pieces of work product I have ever encountered." Now, for the first time, we will get an objective analysis into Dick Fuld's allegations that short sellers were responsible for the death of his firm, and just how it is that Barclays managed to (metaphorically) steal the perfectly solvent North American brokerage division for pennies on the dollar (with the Judge's blessing in the first place).
Today the Fed released its Q4 Flow of Funds, aka Z.1, report. Using the data in this report, some have focused on such temperamental measures as household net worth, which in Q4 came out at $54.2 trillion, a $700 billion increase from Q3. What they will not disclose is that all of this increase came courtesy of the stock market, as the "Equity Shares at Market Value" line increased from $15.546 trillion to $16.234 trillion: this represented the entire increase in household net worth. Should the market dive, as many are concerned it is will once the Fed stops manipulating the mortgage (and potentially equity) market, watch all this intangible net worth disappear, as unbooked profits are just that - unbooked. Others will tell you that consumer deleveraging continues unabated, which is true: the decline in total non-financial debt in Q4 for Households and Businesses was -1.2% and -3.2%, respectively. Who made up the difference: the US government of course, whose domestic nonfinancial debt holdings increased by 12.6%. We, instead focus on Tables F.209 and F.210, the detailed listing of holders of US Treasuries and Agencies/MBS securities, as this is precisely where the Fed is the dominant market maker, and the means by which Ben Bernanke continues to manipulate the market by being the perpetual bid for 5% and lower yielding securities, thereby forcing all other yield chasers to go lower in the cap structure and buy, buy, buy all equities. And while there are no major surprises in the data set, it is notable that even as the Fed has purchased over $1.5 trillion in Agency/MBS debt, the total amount of all such securities over the past year has remained constant. The Fed has been buying everything that other have been selling. Adjust the data to exclude the Fed's purchases and one sees just how scary the MBS situation truly is.
$13 Billion 30 Year Reopening Closes At 4.679%, Directs Take Down Whopping 29.7%: A New Record, Indirects Settle For Mere 23.9%Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2010 - 14:19
Yield 4.679% vs. Exp. 4.702%, Allotted at high 82.8%
Bid To Cover a massive 2.89 vs. Avg. 2.56 (Prev. 2.68)
Indirects at miserable 23.9% vs. Avg. 42.32% (Prev. 40.77%)
Direct take down an absolutely stunning 29.7%
Direct hit ratio 44.4%
Bob Corker, Humiliated By Chris Dodd, Joins The Fed Bashing Brigade; In The Meantime Ted Kaufman Shows Everyone How It's DoneSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2010 - 13:18
Earlier today political corpse Chris Dodd said that he would proceed with unveiling a financial reform bill on Monday without Republican participation, in a humiliating blow to Bob Corker, who was most recently seen doing all he could to help his Wall Street colleagues make sure the Volcker plan would never see the light of day. Yet with recent rumors out of Washington that not only is the Volcker plan alive and well, the double whammy for Corker may be coming any day. So what does the Tennessee Senator do? He joins the Fed bashing brigade. Among his remarks from his conference given today after his was "fired" by Dodd, was the observation that the "Fed will have its wings clipped in reform" and that the "Fed is lobbying hard to protect its marble buildings." No doubt Senator: it is people like you who make Fed (and broader Wall Street) lobbying efforts quite easy. We hope that you and all your other bought and paid for colleagues in the Senate can learn from Senator Kaufman, whose speech on financial reform we already posted earlier, but which needs to be read and understood by all who are serious about regulatory reform, instead of puppets like Chris Dodd who huff and puff, yet only want to secure a friendly donation paycheck from his core Wall Street constituency, well into his retirement days.
Here comes the first municipal Hail Mary: Detroit is attempting to sell $250 million in debt, while disclosing in the associated prospectus of the possibility of filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. The kicker as Bloomberg News reports - no recent financial statements are available. In fact, Detroit is providing investors with a a financial statement from June 30, 2008, with a fiscal 2009 report "expected" to be complete by May 31. To say that a lot has changed in the past two years for the city whose unemployment some say is in the double digits with a 3 handle,would be an understatment. Yet we are confident that having no access to actual financials will not stop investors who in their feverish quest of Return On Capital are completely forgetting about the Return Of Capital concept.
More postcards from a post-austerity Greece where 10,000 protesters take to the streets. Pick the CDS speculators out.
The older I get the harder it is to stop myself from getting too jaded, and too cynical. It is an even harder task these past few years, as I am not only working against the natural cynicism of age, but also the fact that we have all had a front row seat to the greatest financial meltdown of our generation. Too many books have chronicled all the insiders who have benefitted from this meltdown, and there are no shortage of government officials whose hands are dirty (gander at Fannie and Freddie’s lobbying recipients, and payroll lists). Occasionally, though, we get a glimpse of something good. Genuine. Void of self-interest. Today Senator Kaufman will speak on the floor about financial reform in general. We were lucky to have met the man and his staff, and to see raw energy and concern for the public good at work is rare and inspiring. The Senator is not running for re-election. All that he has done, and is doing, is because he feels it is right, and he cares about America, and its proper priorities. Agree or Disagree? Not even the point. Watching him and his staff in action makes me see how harmful lobbying is as an activity, and how bad multi-term government officials are. If we want change, maybe we should limit Senators to serving one 6 year term, or two 4 year terms MAYBE. No exceptions.
After just 5 days of relative quiet, a rumor of a Greek 3 Year bond issue is pushing GGB spreads higher over in Greece. 2 Year yields have jumped by 22 basis points to 4.91%, with concerns about the short-end of the curve are pushing the long-end wider as well, with the 10 year drifting wider. Selling in bonds has caused CDS spread to also widen, meaning that the latest round of CDS scapegoating is expected to commence in a few short minutes.
Labor Unions Preparing To Take Goldman Sachs To Task, Push For Transaction Tax In Upcoming Widespread RalliesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/11/2010 - 10:58
America's labor unions are finally waking up from their deep slumber and noticing the vast schism in American society between the haves and the have nots. The catalyst: Wall Street's $16.2 billion bonus pay day. As a result Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest union organization, and a firm supporter of the transaction tax which was proposed in late 2009 and then promptly buried after some serious lobbying by Wall Street, will announce today "two weeks of protests aimed at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable securities firm in U.S. history, and the country’s five other largest banks. The AFL-CIO says it plans 200 events covering all 50 states, starting March 15." Summarizing the mood of increasing populist aggression across the nation against Wall Street's uber-wealthy is labor professor at UC Berkley Harley Shaiken: “Wall Street has become a symbol of greed run amok, and what labor is doing here is seeking to demonstrate that it is speaking for working families generally, union member or non- union member.” Strikes in Greece have already paralyzed the country. Will America soon follow?