NYSE October Margin Debt Jumps To Highest Since Lehman Failure As Investor Net Worth Is At Lowest Since April Highs
It is not just the stock market that is at the highest levels since Lehman. Probably just as importantly, NYSE margin debt has surged to $269 billion, an increase of $13 billion from the prior month, and the highest since September 2008 when it was at $299 billion, and subsequently tumbled as investors rushed to get out of all margined positions. And this has happened even free cash credit accounts and credit balance in margin accounts remained relatively flat. In other words, net NYSE available cash decreased by $10 billion M/M to ($34) billion, the lowest since April 2010, just before the market tumbled, and net cash surged by almost $50 billion in two months. We are confident that NYSE cash in November will be at the lowest level of the year, not to mention December, as hedge funds leveraged everything they could, in some cases hitting as much as 3-4x gross leverage, in pursuit of beta, now that unleveraged alpha strategies have ceased to work. Which means that with retail stubbornly missing from the picture, the only beneficiaries of the HFT and Fed facilitated melt up are the 1000 or so hedge funds, where average net worth is in the 6 digits, that will be profitable this year. Everyone else can drown their sorrows in McDonalds fries which are about to surge in price. Of course, what this means should some unexpected credit event occur, is that the forced selling that will follow this two year high margin debt unwind will lead to a comparable results as those seen after the Lehman collapse. For the sake of America, we can only hope that the centrally planning Chairman can sustain the lie for a few more months before the house of cards on the camel's back, which in turn is suspended on a ladder as the eye of the hurricane passes over, finally topples.
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