If there is one thing the investing public has 'learned' in the last few years, it is 'no matter how bad the fundamentals, if it's been working, buy moar of it'. And so, it is with almost certain confidence that we should expect a resurgent flood of yield-chasing muppetry into no more egregious idiocy than the subprime-mortgage-debt market. As Bloomberg reports, the subprime-slime-backed securities that were created in the years before the financial crisis in 2008, which marked the last time they were issued, have gained almost 12% this year, or six times more than junk-rated corporate debt, according to Barclays. As one money 'manager' proclaims, "a lot of the uncertainty around the asset class has been taken away." Indeed, home prices will never go down ever again, right? (Just ignore this and this)
Dick Clark didn't poll America to determine their taste in music. He told them their taste in music ... not directly, but by creating common knowledge — ideas that a crowd believes that the crowd believes. With the American Bandstand group dance staging and scripted questions, Clark allowed the TV audience to see a crowd of attractive young people act as if the music were popular. This is all it takes. Clark didn't have to force his preferred choice of popular culture on his audience like some centrally-planned Ministry of Culture. The TV audience chose it all on their own, thinking all along it was their choice! This is the power of the Emperor's New Clothes. This is the power of the sitcom laugh track and the live studio audience. This is the power of public coronations and executions. This is the power of Tahrir Square and Tiananmen Square. This is the power of the crowd seeing the crowd, and it is the most potent force in the social world. It's certainly the most potent force in the social world of markets, and every Central Banker today is playing the Common Knowledge Game just as hard as Dick Clark ever did.
Back in the years just before the previous housing bubble burst (not to be confused with the current, even more acute one), one person did the math on subprime, realized that the housing - and credit bubble - collapse was imminent, and warned anyone who cared to listen - almost nobody did. That man was Kyle Bass, and because he had the guts to put the money where his mouth was, he made a lot of money. Fast forward to 2014 when subprime is all the rage again and the subprime bubble is bigger than ever: it may comes as a surprise to some that in 2013, subprime debt was one of the best performing fixed income instruments, returning a whopping 17% in a year when most other debt instruments generated negative returns. And this time, while Kyle Bass is busy - collecting nickels (each costing a dime) perhaps - it is someone else who has stepped into Bass' Cassandra shoes: that someone is Jeff Gundlach. “These properties are rotting away,”
The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) latest civil suit against Bank of America (B of A) is an embarrassment of tragic proportions on multiple dimensions. We're "only" going to explore seven of its epic fails here. The two most obvious fails (except to most of the media, which failed to mention either) are that the DOJ has once again refused to prosecute either the elite bankers or bank that committed what the DOJ describes as massive frauds and that the DOJ has refused to bring even a civil suit against the senior officers of the banks despite filing a complaint that alleges facts showing that those officers committed multiple felonies that made them wealthy by causing massive harm to others. Those two fails should have been the lead in every article about the civil suit. There are many more...
You could even make a case that QE is part of TBTF. Chew on that for a while Shirley.
For the first time since September of 2010, nearly two years ago, has the Case Shiller 20 City Index realized a year-over-year gain. Does this signify a sustainable turning point for the market?
Fraudclosure Case v ABBY G. LOPEZ Involving Leaked Email Heats Up, Akerman Senterfitt Tries to Close Off the CourtroomSubmitted by 4closureFraud on 06/05/2012 18:49 -0400
And I thought the Florida Bar said foreclosure lawyers must report fraud to court...
FHA insured loans have been a big booster for the current market. Historically FHA insured loans made up roughly 8 to 12 percent of all mortgage originations but in 2009 they hit 30 percent. For first time home buyers it was a stunning 50 percent showing that most people can only purchase a home today with a very small down payment. Yet small down payments create instant negative equity positions if the market moves sideways or pops lower (aka our current market). For example, the 3.5 percent standard FHA down payment is wiped away by the 5 to 6 percent selling costs. What is interesting with this is that the FHA insured loan market is fully backed by the government (i.e., you) so any losses will be completely shouldered by the public.
The California housing market sits in an odd stage of limbo.
Smith, Hiatt & Diaz Motion to Purge Lender Processing Services' (LPS) Accidentally Leaked Internal EmailSubmitted by 4closureFraud on 04/25/2012 13:21 -0400
They may have a little more difficulty getting this now public record "purged" from the internets...
"Please advise us regarding a reliable procedure whereby the appropriate foreclosing party can be situated in the matter such that we can proceed to judgment of sale"
Humans are a flawed species. Our minds are easily manipulated. We don’t like pain. We prefer instant gratification. We are susceptible to mass delusion. We will often choose hope over critical thought. Those with higher IQs will regularly attempt to take advantage of those with lower IQs. Fear and greed are the two motivations used by the minority in power to control and manipulate the majority. The American people have been led astray by a small group of powerful men. We were herded through a door in the wall of perception that promised an American dream of material goods, entitlements and pleasure with no obligations or responsibility to future generations. There is only one choice that can save this country from ruin. Each individual must make a choice to either to continue supporting the manipulative, corrupt status quo or coming back through the Door in the Wall.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” – Aldous Huxley
It will be interesting to see how optimistic/pessimistic this quarter's bank credit losses will be reported. Here are some very interesting facts on the latest trend in Alt-a mortgages that have been in the news as of late. The following charts were culled from my mortgage default model which was built primarily from date gathered from the FDIC and the NY Fed.