Book Value

The Bank Of Japan Begins Selling ¥1.3 Trillion In Stocks Acquired Over The Years

In a stark reminder, that what central banks buy they eventually have to sell, Japan's Nikkei writes that the Bank of Japan has begun selling equities it bought from commercial banks in the previous decade to ease anxiety over the financial sector. But before some interpret the move as a risk to Japan's stock "market" as the biggest equity backstopper now becomes a seller, concurrent with the BOJ's liquidations Kuroda will offset these divestments with extra purchases of exchange-traded funds, in effect netting out selling with even more stock buying.

With Jim Chanos Short, Is SolarCity The Next SunEdison? The Full Bear Case

One year ago, SunEdison was the darling of the hedge fund world. It is now bankrupt. Moments ago, Jim Chanos revealed that (in addition to Tesla) he is also short Elon Musk's SolarCity, sending the stock sliding.  But what is the bear case? Courtesy of Axiom's Gordon Johnson, here are some very specific reasons why Chanos may once again have a home run on his "short" hands.

A Currency War That Europe And Japan Can't Afford To Lose

After three years of the dollar being pretty much the only strong currency in the world, US corporate profits are falling (because it’s hard to sell things abroad when you price them in an expensive currency) and growth is slowing (because an economy can’t expand if corporate profits are falling). Presumably the plunging dollar will offer some relief on those fronts. But our relief comes at a high, potentially-catastrophic price for Japan and Europe...

Italy's Bank Bailout Fund Already One Third Empty After First Bank Rescue

Italy's bad bank bailouts fund, "Atlas", is about to become the proud new owner of around 90% of Italy's Popolare di Vicenza after investors only bought a fraction of the mid-tier bank's €1.5 billion cash call, Reuters reports.  Popolare di Vicenza, which was due to announce the outcome of the public share offer later on Friday, said earlier in the day that it had raised €4.25 billion, at the lower end of a 4-6 billion euro range it had initially targeted, from 67 mostly domestic financial institutions.

The High Yield Bond 'Emperor' Has No Clothes, BofA Warns 1 In 3 Firms Face Default Threat

The market reaction from last week’s dovish FOMC statement took many by surprise, including BofAML's HY Strategy team, but as they say the High-Yield Emperor has no clothes, warning that the underlying commentary provided by Chair Yellen shows the vulnerability for high yield issuers to longer-term growth trends. Couple the deteriorating fundamentals for HY issuers with downgrades outpacing upgrades by a ratio of 3.5:1 and a worsening of global growth potential, and they believe the recent rally, though boosted by strong inflows and cash generation, will ultimately fade.

"We Need Shed No Tears For The Capitalists" - Key Highlights From Buffett's 2015 Annual Letter

Earlier today Berkshire Hathaway released its 2015 annual report, which among other things includes Buffett's traditional annual observations and insights. Buffett brushes past last year’s disappointing stock performance, muses on the future of America while taking a swipe at Donald Trump, dwells on Berkshire’s ties to Brazilian PE firm 3G, talks about Berkshire’s big 2015 deal, defends manufactured-housing unit Clayton Homes, bashes inequality and capitalists (just not the crony kind), and concludes with a summary of the biggest risks facing America.

Peddling More "Recession" Fiction

We are sure this is nothing to be worried about - and is likely just "transitory" - but just in case, here is some more recession-fiction to peddle...

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.