Book Value

Is This Debt's Last Rattle?

What we see happening today is the last gasps of a broken system ravished by the very much cancer-like progress of debt. Yes, it took longer than it should have, and than we thought. But that’s pretty much irrelevant, unless you were trying to get rich off of the downfall of your own world. Always a noble goal. There’s one reason for the delay only: central bank hubris. And now the entire shebang is falling to bits. That this would proceed in chaotic ways was always a given. People don’t know where to look first or last, neither central bankers nor investors nor anyone else.

Which Italian Banks Are Most Exposed To Soaring NPLs: Citi Crunches The Numbers

Total gross NPLs in Italy has increased by c160% since 2009 and now represents c18% of loans (vs c8% in 2009). Gross Sofferenze (eg the worst category of NPLs) are c60% of this or c€200bn. While new inflows of NPLs have decreased, there have been limited disposals, possibly due to pricing difference. Banks suffer in multiple ways due to the high stock of NPLs (profitability, capital, funding, lending, etc). The government implemented reforms last summer to improve recovery procedures (Government Proposes NPL Measures), but there is limited evidence so far of the benefit.

Noble Group’s "Collateral Margin Call"

It is not Liquidity that banks are asking but for more Collateral from Noble starting this year because they also understand that this MTM gain on commodity contracts and derivatives of Noble will unlikely be realized at more than 10% and therefore is not valid collateral for the trader’s working capital borrowing base requirements.

"2016 Will Be No Fun" - Doug Kass Unveils 15 Surprises For The Year Ahead

My overriding theme and the central drama for the coming year is that unexpected events can take on greater importance as the Federal Reserve ends its near-decade-long Zero Interest Rate Policy. Consensus premises and forecasts will likely fall flat, in a rather spectacular manner. The low-conviction and directionless market that we saw in 2015 could become a no-conviction and very-much-directed market (i.e. one that's directed lower) in 2016. There will be no peace on earth in 2016, and our markets could lose a cushion of protection as valuations contract. (Just as "malinvestment" represented a key theme this year, we expect a compression of price-to-earnings ratios to serve as a big market driver in 2016.) In other words, we don't think 2016 will be fun.

Global Stocks, U.S. Futures Slide As Oil Resumes Drop, China Stocks Tumble Most In One Month

The last trading week of 2015 begins on a historic precipice for stocks: as reported over the weekend, the U.S. stock market has not been lower for any year ending in a “5? since 1875. That streak is now in jeopardy, because following Thursday's shortened holiday session which ended with an abrupt selloff, the overnight session has seen continued weakness across global assets in everything from Chinese stocks which tumbled the most since November 27, to commodities (WTI  is down 2.5%) to European stocks (Stoxx 600 -0.4%), to US equity futures down 0.4% on what appears to be an overdue dose of Santa Rally buyers' remorse.

"When Is The Crash Going To Happen?" - Mark Spitznagel Revisits "The Ticking Time Bomb"

Timing a crash can be a fool's errand, and fortunately such efforts are largely irrelevant if you are tail hedging (though they are quite relevant if you aren't). But this doesn't mean that exercises in timing are without merit. Without a doubt (or at least with over 99% confidence), bad things happen with increasing expectation when conditioning on higher Q ratios ex ante. Factoring time into the equation, and again based on history, the confidence interval around the median time would point to an expectation that the crash should commence right about now.

Goldman Releases Its Top 6 Trades For 2016... And The Three Biggest Risks

  1. Top Trade #1: Long USD vs short EUR and JPY
  2. Top Trade #2: Long US 10-year ‘Breakeven’ Inflation
  3. Top Trade #3: Long MXN and RUB versus short ZAR and CLP.
  4. Top Trade #4: Long EM ‘External Demand’ vs. Banks stocks
  5. Top Trade #5: Tighter Spread between Italy and Germany Long Rates
  6. Top Trade #6: Long large-cap US Banks relative to the overall S&P500

The Most Devious Liars In The Room

There were a few different stories coming out over the last few days that reveal the true nature of government and the apparatchiks who use disinformation, devious machinations, fraudulent accounting, and taxpayer money to cover up their criminality, lies, and the true state of the American economy. The use of government accounting tricks to obscure the truth about our dire financial straits is designed to keep the masses sedated and confused.

The BoJ Owns 52% Of The Entire Japanese ETF Market , And Now It Wants More

Haruhiko Kuroda owns 52% of all Japanese ETFs. And now he wants more. Facing a lack of willing JGB sellers, the BoJ now faces the possibility that ramping up its easing efforts will entail expanding the bank's already elephantine equity portfolio. "At a fundamental level, I don’t support the idea of central banks buying ETFs or equities. Unlike bonds, equities never redeem. That means they will have to be sold at some point, which creates market risk."

Icahn Reveals Latest "No Brainer" Idea: Urges AIG To Split, Sees 66% Share Upside To $100

It has been a while since Icahn, who is still looking for a $200+ print on AAPL stock courtesy of corporate buybacks, issued a "no brainer" investment alert. He did that moments ago, when he revealed a "large position" in AIG, whom he is now urging to follow John Paulson's advise in order to hit a $100/share price, by doing two things: "Pursue tax free separations of both its life and mortgage insurance subsidiaries to create three independent public companies" and to "embark on a much needed cost control program to close the gap with peers."