There are seemingly always “good reasons” why troubles in a sector of the credit markets are supposed to be ignored – or so people are telling us, every single time. Some still recall how the developing problems in the sub-prime sector of the mortgage credit market were greeted by officials and countless market observers in the beginning in 2007. Meanwhile, the foundation of the economy continues to look rotten (the newest round of Fed surveys has begun with another bomb and other manufacturing-related data continue to disappoint as well). This isn’t going to end well, if history is any guide.
The last 3 days have seen the biggest surge in US energy credit risk since December 2014, blasting back above 1000bps. This should not be a total surprise since underlying oil prices continue to languish in "not cash-flow positive" territory for many shale producers, but, as Bloomberg reports, the industry is bracing for a wave of failures as investors that were stung by bets on an improving market earlier this year try to stay away from the sector. "It’s been eerily silent," in energy credit markets, warns one bond manager, "no one is putting up new capital here."
"Given that we are clearly moving into a higher default environment we believe that equity investors may be inclined not to reward stocks that have large buyback programs. And if this is the case, corporate managers will have a diminished incentive to borrow money to finance buybacks."
Despite The Fed's best efforts to crush the business cycle, the crucial credit-cycle has reared its ugly head as releveraging firms (gotta fund those buybacks) and deflationary pressures (liabilities fixed, assets tumble) have led to a soaring market cost of capital and surge in downgrades. In fact, in the latest quarter, the ratio of upgrades-to-downgrades is its weakest since the peak of the financial crisis in 2009. “We’re seeing more widespread weakness across more industry sectors in the U.S... It’s become broader than just the commodity story.”
Hedge fund manager exposes the ugly truth about America's energy revolution: it's like the housing bubble but larger!
Printing-press money is fertile ground for expanding world crisis. Crisis is excellent cover for national and international chicanery. How can anyone who is paying attention not recognize these tremors for what they are?
This seemingly inexhaustible credit line is now drying up, with severely negative consequences for oil producers with debt that's coming due. The row of dominoes swaying unsteadily in these stiff winds won't take much to topple.
"A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed. Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus."
The fox is guarding the henhouse at America's colleges and universities as accreditors slap a seal of approval on schools with subpar graduation rates, clearing the way for government aid to flow where it shoudln't and further imperiling the US taxpayer in the process.
Sense of desperation among CEOs?
Greenlight's David Einhorn has come out swinging at the Fed-fueled fracking frenzy and, after pointing out facts that are extremely widely known, and have been explained innumerable times here, sent Shale stocks tumbling... led by the so-called "MotherFracker" - Pioneer Natural Resources... Einhorn concludes, "Either way the frackers are fracked."
"Where are the defaults?" UBS asks, referring to the highly leveraged US shale complex. "They're coming," is the answer, as current bond prices assume oil prices in the 60s and 70s.
"We could now be at a crossroads," warns Deutsche Bank in its annual default study report. As the 'artificial bond market' is exposed and yield curves flatten on Fed rate hikes so carry risk-reward is reduced and default cycles have often been linked to the ebbing and flowing of the YC through time with a fairly long lead/lag. With HY defaults having spent 12 of the last 13 years below their long-term average (with the last 5 years the lowest in modern history), "a perfect default storm could be created for 2018 if the Fed raises rates in 2015."
While investors have grown to used to knife-catching heroics in equity markets, the Energy credit markets have been a poster child of yield-reaching, bottom-guessing, dip-buying exuberance in the past six months. As every leg lower in oil was met with more Oil ETF buyers and bond buyers (or loan financers) as "the bottom is in," so each low has failed and new lows are made. The last few days have seen credit risk soar the most in 2015 in the energy sector as numerous firms enter bankruptcy or approach it with huge looming coupon and principal due. What is even more telling is the news of a huge liquidation sale of energy heavy equipment which will be the 'tell' for the entire industry if it is weak...