Since inception in June 1998, UBS' Managed High Yield Plus Fund survived through the dot-com (and Telco) collapse and the post-Lehman credit carnage but, based on the press release today, has been felled by the current credit cycle's crash. After 3 years of trading at an increasingly large discount to NAV, and plunging to its worst levels since the peak of the financial crisis, the board of the Fund has approved a proposal to liquidate the Fund. While timing is unclear, this is the worst case for an increasingly fragile cash bond market as BWICs galore are set to hit with "liquidty thin to zero."
As Bloomberg reports, "JPMorgan Chase & Co. is set to pay almost a third of a $1.86 billion settlement to resolve accusations that a dozen big banks conspired to limit competition in the credit-default swaps market, according to people briefed on terms of the deal."
Glencore is in total free-fall across all markets today. Most worrying for systemic risk concerns is the rush into credit protection that has occurred, as counterparties attempt to hedge their exposures. Forthe first time since 2009, Glencore CDS are being quoted with upfront pricing (something that happens as firms become seriously distressed). Based on the latest data, it costs 875bps per year (or 14% upfront) to buy protection against a Glencore default (which implies - given standard recoveries - a 54% chance of default).
Chinese Stocks Open Down Hard As PBOC Strengthens Yuan By Most Since 2010 & Default Risk Hits 2-Year HighSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/01/2015 20:21 -0500
Chinese stocks are opening lower: SHANGHAI COMPOSITE INDEX FALLS 4.6% TO 3,020.84 AT OPEN as PBOC fixes Yuan stronger for the 4th day in a row - the most in 5 years.
China credit risk has spiked to 2-year highs as traders increase positions dramatically.
"They are going to be toast. It will be one of our first levels of shorting the moment we start to see cracks, because it’s ripe with retail, emotional investors."
"We really want to stay away from positions we can’t get out of"...
With a DoJ probe having predictably gone nowhere, a group of pensioners and retirement funds are suing Wall Street and Markit for colluding to monopolize the CDS market. Amusingly, Citadel has been subpoenaed to discuss how it was shut out of creating a CDS trading platform by the "oligopolistic" activities of TBTF banks, even as the firm looks set to dominate the market for IR swaps.
Corporate executives offer three main reasons for share repurchases: 1. Buybacks are investments in our undervalued shares signaling our confidence in the company’s future; 2. Buybacks allow the company to offset the dilution of EPS when employee stock options are exercised or stock is granted to employees; or 3. The company is mature and has limited investment opportunities, therefore we are obligated to return unneeded cash to shareholders. The logic behind each of these explanations is in the vast majority of cases is flawed, to be kind, and deceptive to be blunt.
An interesting article has neatly encapsulated the global (but primarily Western) “bond bubble”:
...but it's different this time.
Contrary to the opinion of Obama the Great, The One True Indispensable Chief of the NWO, the three principal threats we currently face are not Ebola, but QE-bola; not the locally disruptive Islamic State but the globally detrimental Interventionist State; and definitely not the Kremlin’s alleged (though highly disputable) revanchism being played out on Europe’s ‘fringe’ but the Kafkaesque reality of stifling and undeniable regulationism at work throughout its length and breadth. We might end by reminding the would-be wearer of the One Ring, as He lurks warily, watching the opinion polls from His lair in the White House, that in being so active in propagating each one of these genuinely existential threats to our common well-being, he will not so much ‘help light the world’ as help extinguish what little light there still remains to us poor, downtrodden masses.
With the impasse over the latest Argentina default going nowhere fast, late last night president Kirchner stunned its creditors when she announced what amounts to a cramdown plan for holdouts, in which all bonds would be stripped of their existing indentures and converted to local law bonds. Or, as some would call it, a "scorched earth" transaction that burns all bridges, and goodwill, with the international creditor community and likely leaves Argentina unable to access global capital markets for the foreseeable future.
Watch what happens when new tech is used to create better products, cheaper than the incumbents could ever have dreamt of...
With hours to go until Argentina's grace period runs out and default occurs, investors are less than frantically selling Argentine bonds and pesos. They are lower but do not appear in full panic mode as we presume investors cling to hope that Argentina folds and pays off the holdouts (though there has been no sign of that so far). ARG 2033 bonds are down 3 points to 81 and the black-market peso is modestly weaker at 13.0 (near its record lows). Argentine CDS tightened modestly (as BofA warns the facts surrounding Argentina’s bond payments continue to be unique and deciding if CDS are triggered could take longer than expected) but 1Y CDS are holding at 4600bps (equivalent) - a 52% probability of default. Paul singer continues to defend himself (and the holdouts) from claims they are "dangerous fundamentalists" hell-bent on making it impossible for foreign sovereigns to restructure their debts.
- The Man Who Broke the Middle East (Politico)
- Kerry presses Maliki as Iraq loses control of Syrian, Jordanian borders (Reuters)
- Hank Paulson takes on global warming next: The Coming Climate Crash - Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession (NYT)
- In Yellen We Trust Is Bond Mantra as Inflation Threats Dismissed (BBG)
- After port fraud, China's vast warehouse sector under scrutiny (Reuters)
- Draghi Says Unlimited Cash Through 2016 Is Rate Signal (BBG)
- Tapes Said to Reveal Polish Minister Disparaging U.S. Ties (NYT)
- CDC reassigns director of lab behind anthrax blunder (Reuters)
- BNP set to receive ban to transact in USD as part of $9 billion settlement (WSJ)
- GE Clears Last French Hurdle to Clinch Alstom Deal (BBG)
- Al Jazeera journalists jailed in Egypt, supporters stunned (Reuters)
- ISDA Asked to Rule If Argentina Credit-Default Swaps Triggered (BBG)