BAC

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Frontrunning: November 13





  • Desperate Philippine typhoon survivors loot, dig up water pipes (Reuters)
  • Fading Japanese market momentum frustrates investors (FT)
  • China's meager aid to the Philippines could dent its image (Reuters)
  • Headline du jour: Granted 'decisive' role, Chinese markets decide to slide (Reuters)
  • Central Banks Risk Asset Bubbles in Battle With Deflation Danger (BBG)
  • Navy Ship Plan Faces Pentagon Budget Cutters (WSJ)
  • Investors pitch to take over much of Fannie and Freddie (FT)
  • To expand Khamenei’s grip on the economy, Iran stretched its laws (Reuters)
  • Short sellers bet that gunmaker shares are no long shot (FT)
  • Deflation threat in Europe may prompt investment rethink (Reuters)
 


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Frontrunning: November 7





  • Twitter's IPO to Make Market Debut (WSJ); Twitter Raises $1.82 Billion, Pricier Value Than Facebook (BBG)
  • Worried Senators Press Obama on Health Law (WSJ)
  • Greenspan Says Yellen Was His Guide to Economics Research at Fed (BBG)
  • European Central Bank seen holding rates despite inflation tumble (Reuters)
  • Wall St. Bonuses Over All Are Predicted to Rise 5 to 10% (NYT)
  • Cautious consumers seen curbing U.S. economic growth (Reuters)
  • China Grants U.S. Investors Indirect Access to Its Stock Markets (WSJ)
  • Higher Tax Rates Give Top U.S. Earners Year-End Headaches (BBG)
  • Iran Loses Nuclear Leverage as World Ignores Export Drop (BBG)
  • NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly in the running for JPMorgan job (Post)
 


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Frontrunning: October 18





  • Republican Civil War Erupts: Business Groups v. Tea Party (BBG)
  • Budget fight leaves Boehner 'damaged' but still standing (Reuters)
  • Madoff Was Like a God, Wizard of Oz, Lawyers Tell Jury (BBG) - just like Bernanke
  • Republicans press U.S. officials over Obamacare snags (Reuters)
  • Brilliant: Fed Unlikely to Trim Bond Buying in October (Hilsenrath)
  • More brilliant: Fed could taper as early as December (FT)
  • Russia Roofing Billionaires Seen Among Country’s Youngest (BBG)
  • Ford's Mulally won't dismiss Boeing, Microsoft speculation (Reuters)
  • China reverses first-half slowdown (FT)
  • NY Fed’s Fired Goldman Examiner Makes Weird Case (BBG)
 


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Bank Of America Misses Despite Surge In Reserve Releases Amounting To Over Quarter Of Q3 "Earnings"





On the surface, the latest Q3 bank numbers to come out of Bank of America today, were not quite as bad as those previously reported by the other TBTFs, namely JPM, Wells and Citi. At a (massively adjuste4d) EPS of $0.20, this was just 1 cent below the expected $0.21, even as net revenue of $21.74 billion missed expectations of $21.95 billion. So far so good. At least so good until one realizes that of the $5.1 billion in pretax income, some 1.4 billion, or over a quarter, was from the usual accounting magic well of gimmicks: loan loss reserve releases! In fact, the $1.391 billion in reserve reduction driven by $1.7 billion in charge offs offset by a tiny $0.3 billion in provisions, was the highest reserve release in the past year, only lower than last Q3's $2.3 billion, when the bank - just like today - was in desperate need of any source of fake earnings. Why? Because the bank's loan origination group, just like all other banks', cratered, and saw non-interest income in its real estate services division implode by $1.5 billion to just $844 million. So much for whatever housing recovery the rose-colored glasses ones had envisioned...

 


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Frontrunning: October 8





  • Hilsenrath: Tense Negotiations Inside the Fed Produced Muddled Signals to Markets (WSJ)
  • Biggest US Foreign Creditors Show Concern on Default Risk (BBG)
  • Shutdown Costs at $1.6 Billion With $160 Million Each Day (BBG)
  • What default? Republicans downplay impact of U.S. debt limit (Reuters)
  • Top Bankers Warn on U.S. Debt Proposal (WSJ)
  • India to stick with austerity despite looming election (Reuters)
  • Japan's Current-Account Surplus Plunges (WSJ)
  • Amazon Wins Ruling for $600 Million CIA Cloud Contract (BBG)
  • German Factory Orders Unexpectedly Fall on Weak Recovery (BBG)
  • Britain's Higgs, Belgium's Englert win 2013 physics Nobel prize (Reuters)
  • Supreme Owner Made a Billionaire Feeding U.S. War Machine (BBG)
 


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A Depressed Bank Of America Predicts "Agreement Is Almost Impossible As Long As Obamacare Is On The Table"





Bank of America's latest forecast on the resolution, or lack thereof, of the government shutdown, which now seems virtually certain to last at least one week into Monday night, when the House and Senate return to work, is hardly encouraging. The bank's base case now calls for "either a two-week shutdown or for multiple shutdowns." Additional, BofA has now cut its Q3 GDP forecast from 2.0% to 1.7% and from 2.5% to 2.0% for 4Q. It gets worse: "Much worse outcomes are possible. In our view, agreement is almost impossible as long as the Affordable Care Act is on the table." Finally, and what ties it all together, is that as a result of the lack of "government data", BAC now expects the Fed to delay tapering to their January meeting, or later. Which may well have been the much needed alibi all along to delayed tapering until 2014.

 


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Frontrunning: October 2





  • U.S. Government Shut Down With No Quick Resolution Seen (BBG)
  • 12 House Republicans now say they’d back a ‘clean’ CR (WaPo)
  • Republicans’ 2014 Senate Edge Muddied by Shutdown Message (BBG)
  • Obama Shortens Asia Trip Due to Government Shutdown (WSJ)
  • Fed Said to Review Commodities at Goldman, Morgan Stanley (BBG)
  • Foreign Firms Tap U.S. Gas Bonanza (WSJ)
  • Behind Standoff, a Broken Process in Need of a Broker (WSJ)
  • Japan Awaits Abe’s Third Arrow as Companies Urged to Invest (BBG)
  • Microsoft investors push for chairman Gates to step down (Reuters)
 


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Coming Soon To A Theater Near You: MBIA's $1 Billion World War Z





Frequent readers will recall that in the past, on several occasions, we expected that MBIA would rise due to two key catalysts: a massive short interest and the expectation that a BAC settlement would provide the company with much needed liquidity. That thesis played out earlier this year resulting in a stock price surge that also happened to be the company's 52 week high. However, now that we have moved away from the technicals and litigation catalysts, and looking purely at the fundamentals, it appears that MBIA has a new problem. One involving Zombies. These freshly-surfacing problems stem from a particular pair of Zombie CLO’s – Zombie-I and Zombie-II (along with Zombie-III, illiquid/black box middle-market CLO’s).  While information is  difficult to gather, we have heard that MBIA would be lucky to recover much more than $400 million from the underlying insured Zombie assets over the next three years, which would leave them with a nearly $600 million loss on their $1 billion of exposure which would materially and adversely impact the company's liquidity.  And as it may take them a while to liquidate assets in a sure-to-be contentious intercreditor fight – their very own World War Z – MBIA may well have to part with the vast majority of the $1 billion in cash, before gathering some of the potential recovery.

 


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Frontrunning: September 17





  • Less Tapering Becomes Tightening Credit No Matter What Fed Says (BBG)
  • Yellen Is Now Top Fed Hopeful (WSJ)
  • Syria - A chemical crime, a complex reaction (Reuters)
  • More ECB collateral: Wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia raised off rocks in Italy (Reuters)
  • Aging Boomers Befuddle Marketers Eying $15 Trillion Prize (BBG)
  • Abe Turns Pitchman, Says Japan Is Now A Buy (WSJ)
  • Ex-JPMorgan Employees Indicted Over $6.2 Billion Loss (BBG)
  • Barack Obama blinked first in battle for Lawrence Summers (FT)
  • Berlusconi to support Italian government in video message: sources (Reuters)
  • How China Lost Its Mojo: One Town's Story (WSJ)
 


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Stock Bulls Pleased, Shorts Squeezed, Bond Bulls Teased





With the White House increasing its rhetoric in the face of Russia/Syria headlines and growth-inspired commodities like copper and oil suffering, the meme of the day that today's rally was a combo Asian growth and Syrian 'ease' is bullshit. Simply out, it's just another day in paradise as we noted earlier the 'most-shorted' names in the US equity market were squeezed dramatically higher - the most in 15 months (+2.8%). Interestingly, as the Russell surged to highs of the day, the Dow and S&P diverged lower in the afternoon. Homebuilders were the best choice for this idiocy as they soared 5% from Friday's lows (even as WFC and BAC shut their mortgage departments?) and are now 2% above pre-Kerry levels. Carry-mongers were equity bulls best friends as EURJPY lifted stocks all day and the USD dumped - led by EUR and SEK). Gold and silver flatlined for most of the day along with copper with WTI dumping into the pit close to around $109 (still its highest for this date ever). Treasuries were bid 5bps (belly) to 2bps (long-end). Trannies remain the only major index below pre-Kerry levels. War schmoar...

 


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Frontrunning: September 4





  • Yes: Support Builds in Congress for U.S. Strike Against Syria (WSJ)
  • No: Boehner backs Obama on Syria, but House leaning toward ‘no’ (The Hill)
  • U.S. Congress fight over Syria pits establishment versus upstarts (Reuters)
  • Wednesday humor: Japan’s Abe Says Fukushima Will Be Resolved Before 2020 Olympics (BBG)
  • Bank of Japan to Consider Further Easing if Sales Tax Hike Goes Ahead (Reuters)
  • S&P accuses U.S. Justice Department of filing $5 billion lawsuit against it in "retaliation" for the company's downgrade of America's debt in 2011 (WSJ)
  • German Candidates Spar Over Records (WSJ)
  • Emerging Nations Save $2.9 Trillion Reserves in Rout (BBG)
  • Split Congress Mulls Denial of Military Force Request (BBG)
  • Sharp Fall in Overseas Investment By Chinese Firms (WSJ)
  • Jorge Lemann: He Is...the World's Most Interesting Billionaire (BusinessWeek)
  • Why Amazon Is on a Warehouse Building Spree (BW)
 


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Frontrunning: August 28





  • Merkel Blames SPD’s Schroeder for Letting Greece Into Euro (BBG)
  • U.S. Bank Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion (BBG)
  • U.K. to Request U.N. Action to Protect Syrians From Chemical Weapons  (WSJ) - and Russia to veto any decision
  • U.N. inspectors in new Syria mission as West prepares to strike (Reuters)
  • Emerging-Market Rout Intensifies on Syria Jitters (WSJ)
  • Rebels Without a Leader Show Limit to U.S. Role in Syria War (BBG)
  • Anger at IRS Powers Tea-Party Comeback (WSJ)
  • China has much at risk but no reach in Middle East (Reuters)
  • 'London Whale' Penalties Put at $500 Million to $600 Million (WSJ)
  • U.S. lawmaker says 'compelling' evidence of Syrian chemical attack (Reuters)
 


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Little Excitement Following NASDARK Day





It was a quiet overnight session, in which the Nikkei was catching up to USDJPY weakness from the past two days, while China dipped once more despite the NDRC's chief economist stating China may cut RRR or conduct more reverse repos in H2 to maintain stable credit as loan growth slows down (or in other words things go back to normal). In Europe ECB's Nowotny decided to undo some of Draghi's recent work when he said that "good economic news" removes the need for a rate cut which in turn pushed the EURUSD higher (and European exports lower), even as former Cyprus central bank Orphanides said the Euro crisis may flare up after the German elections. In the UK Q2 GDP came in slightly stronger than expected at 0.7% vs 0.6% Exp. letting the GBP outperform since a need for the BOE to ease, at least in the short run, is becoming less pertinent. In amusing news, Moody’s late yesterday put six largest U.S. banks on review as it considers the effect of evolving bank resolution policies under Dodd-Frank and international regulations. As such GS, JPM, MS and WFC may be cut.

 


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Bank Of Amerca Downgrades JCP Unsecured Notes On Dimishing Liquidity





While we recognize that JCPenney currently has adequate liquidity, we anticipate that this liquidity will diminish in FY14. We estimate that JCPenney will produce negative free cash flow of $399 million during 2H13 and produce negative free cash flow of $394 million in FY14. We believe that the company still has potential options to increase its liquidity, including selling equity or modest  sale/leasebacks. We believe that liquidity of $1.5 billion at year end is sufficient, but leaves little room for error in a turn-around. Therefore, we are reducing our rating on all JCP Sr Unsecured Notes to UW-70%.

 


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