More Details On The Structured Notes Bubble
A few days ago, IRA's Chris Whalen had a good summary of why and how the next bubble is currently brewing in the Structured Notes space. For those unfamiliar with this particular product, we present a recent Bloomberg brief on the Structured Note market which has quietly grown from a side freakshow into the prime time spectacle. In brief - there has been $25.85 billion in YTD structured note issuance, and over $60 billion in global interest-linked note volumes. An amusing excerpt from the brief: "Sales of notes linked to wheat jumped this month after Russia’s worst drought in 50 years spurred a surge in the price of futures contracts on the grain. Banks including DZ Bank AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, issued 82 wheat-linked warrants this month, compared with a total of 159 in the first seven months of the year, according to data compiled by Scoach, the structured products trading platform run by Deutsche Boerse AG and Switzerland’s SWX Group. The listed notes, called knock-out warrants, offer investors a leveraged way to bet on the price of wheat." For all those who thought Wall Street was dormant in the post-CDO implosion vacuum, this is a rough wake up call - it appears no matter what, idiots and their money are promptly parted, and the world's foremost financial innovators will always find a way (and a product) to guarantee that. And it is very refreshing to see that Germany's DZ Bank has almost learned from the CDO bubble: the questionably solvent German bank dominates the Structured Note market with $7.2 billion in issuance to date, followed closely by such stalwarts of financial stability as Barclays and Deutsche Bank.