BAC

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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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Hedge Fund Second Quarter 13F Summary





It's a Carl iCahn world, and 13-Fs are nothing more than 45 day old tweets. Also, with Ben Bernanke Chief Risk Manager of the developed world, there is absolutely no point to be invested in hedge funds (why - there is simply no risk, until Ben loses control, then no amount of hedging will help anyone), and as such what "hedge" funds are buying is irrelevant. But since the cottage industry of alphacloners still exists, here, via RanSquawk and Fly, is the full June 30 holding recap of the usual suspects.

 
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Frontrunning: August 14





  • Vocal billionaire activist IRR - 150x: Icahn bought $1 billion of AAPL stock, seeks $150 billion buyback (BBG)
  • BlackBerry Said to Have Sought Buyers Since 2012 (BBG) - for a phone or the entire company?
  • IPhone Fingerprint Reader Talk Boosting Biometric Stocks (BBG) - also, the NSA will need to grow its Utah data center
  • UPS Jet Crashes in Birmingham, Ala. (WSJ)
  • America's Farm-Labor Pool Is Graying (WSJ)
  • Hong Kong Lowers Storm Signal as Typhoon Closes on China (BBG)
  • Indian submarine explodes in Mumbai port (FT)
  • BofA Banker Sued by Regulator Later Joined Fannie Mae (BBG)
  • Software that hijacks visits to YouTube uncovered (FT)
  • Chinese Billionaire Huang Readies Iceland Bid on Power Shift (BBG)
  • China to launch fresh pharmaceutical bribery probe (Reuters)
  • Defeat at J.C. Penney Hurts Ackman as Performance Trails (BBG)
 
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China Is Ending Its "One-Child Policy" - Here Are The Implications





Back in 1978, the Chinese politburo enacted the "one-child policy", whose main purpose was to "alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems" in China as a result of the soaring population. According to estimates, the policy prevented more than 250 million births between 1980 and 2000, and 400 million births from about 1979 to 2011. And while not applicable to everyone, in 2007 approximately 35.9% of China's population was subject to a one-child restriction. Regardless of the numbers, things are about to change: with the Chinese economy now having peaked and suddenly finding itself in rapid deceleration with excess credit growth providing virtually no boost to marginal growth, the Chinese government is forced to reexamine 35 years of social policy in order to extract growth from the one place where for nearly 4 decades it had tried to stifle: demographics.  According to the 21st Business Herald which cited sources close to the National Population and Family Planning Commission, China may relax its one-child policy at end-2013 or early-2014 (read end) by allowing families to have two children if at least one parent is from a one-child family.

 
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Frontrunning: August 2





  • Low Wages Work Against Jobs Optimism (WSJ)
  • Tourre’s Junior Staff Defense Seen Leading to Trial Loss (BBG)
  • Russia gives Snowden asylum, Obama-Putin summit in doubt (Reuters)
  • Fortress to Blackstone Say Now Is Time to Sell on Surge (BBG)
  • Brazil backs IMF aid for Greece and recalls representative (FT), previously Brazil refused to back new IMF aid for Greece, says billions at risk (Reuters)
  • Google unveils latest challenger to iPhone (FT)
  • Swaps Probe Finds Banks Manipulated Rate at Expense of Retirees (BBG)
  • Academics square up in fight for Fed (FT)
  • Potash Turmoil Threatens England’s First Mine in Forty Years (BBG)
  • Dell Deal Close but Not Final (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: August 1





  • Headlines only idiots, Schrodinger and Goebbels could love:
    • China Manufacturing Gauge Shows Unexpected Strength (WSJ)
    • China's factory activity shrank for a third straight month in July to its lowest level in nearly a year as new orders fell (Reuters)
  • For nuns and analysts alike, bank commodity earnings are a mystery (Reuters)
  • US spying comes under fresh attack (FT)
  • Summers Backed Yellen for Fed Before Rivals Now Prove More Alike (BBG)
  • Good Luck Leaving Your Wireless Phone Plan (WSJ)
  • Spain's Rajoy says he was wrong to trust treasurer in party funding scandal (Reuters)
  • Shell's Profit Falls on Shale Write-Down (WSJ)
  • Why Rand Paul and Chris Christie went to war  (Politico)
  • Sony Returns to Profit Aided by TV Business (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: July 29





  • More Doctors Steer Clear of Medicare (WSJ)
  • Syrian Looters in Bulldozers Seek Treasure Amid Chaos (BBG)
  • Siemens CEO Peter Löscher Is Set to Leave His Post After Series of Earnings Misses (WSJ)
  • Silver Vault for 200 Tons Starts in Singapore as Wealthy Buy (BBG)
  • Omincom and Publicis merger shows that advertising is now firmly in the business of Big Data: collecting and selling the personal information of millions of consumers (NYT)
  • Apple supplier accused of labour violations (FT)
  • 'BarCap was the Wild Wild West – that’s what we called it’ (Telegraph)
  • P&G chief seizes opportunity in era of three-day stubble (FT)
  • Federal Reserve 'Doves' Beat 'Hawks' in Economic Prognosticating (WSJ) - LOL: Fed "hawks"
 
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