Diamond has a good thing going with Quorum: they get access to ample credit, especially for those applicants with weaker credit profiles. From a Diamond investor's perspective, it would be a shame if anything changed. The post credit-crisis strategy of focusing on esoteric lending opportunities like VOI (as well as taxi medallions, hearing aids and fertility treatments) to generate revenues and membership has run into both a broader slowdown in the consumer credit cycle as well as more specific problems, like an increasingly worried regulator.
For the 5th month in a row (and 10th of last 11), S&P Case-Shiller Home Price growth YoY missed expectations. February saw prices rise 5.38% (below 5.5% exp) which is the weakest annual growth since September 2015. Seattle and San Francisco rose the most MoM as Cleveland and New York saw the biggest drops MoM.
"The US stock market seems egregiously overvalued versus other stock markets... you are going to see declines in the US stock market and since the correlations are so high this means that probably the junk bond market will go back down, too. Negative interest rates are the dumbest idea ever. It’s horrible.... Gold is doing fine. It’s preserving capital in the US, it’s been making money over the last couple of years for European investors. That’s why I own gold.... Trump is going to win. I think Clinton and Sanders are both very poor candidates."
Following yesterday's bankruptcy of Peabody Energy and today's Chapter 11 filing of XXI Energy, defaults among American junk bonds just topped $14 billion in April, the highest monthly volume in two years according to Fitch calculations, and that is only for the first two weeks. April's surge in bankruptcy filings is not unexpected: according to JPM's default tracker, the number of bankruptcies was on a tear in both the month of March and the first quarter.
What in the World is Going on with Banks this Week? Emergency meetings, banker summits, crashing European banks.......Submitted by Bruno de Landevoisin on 04/12/2016 17:29 -0400
"We continue to live in a low default world for now though. Even though defaults picked up in 2015, B/BB default rates were still comfortably below their long-term average which they have been for well over a decade now with 2009 being the only exception. Indeed last year’s default rate for global Bs (up from 0.9% to 2.7%) was still lower than all of the first two decades of the modern era of leveraged finance up to 2003. So in spite of all the challenges we face this era has been characterized by astonishingly low default rates. There are clear signs the cycle is turning though, especially in the US."
While not as quixotic as Morgan Stanley's Adam Parker piece on market-chasing cockroaches, BofA high yield analyst Michael Contopoulos has moved beyond merely bearish and is now outright catastrophic . That may be a little far fetched, but in his latest note - while he doesn't call rally chasers "cockroaches" (yet), he seems at a loss to explain the ongoing junk bond rally. His reasoning: fundamentals just keep getting worse by the day, while price action has completely disconnected from reality, and virtually nobody expects what is about to unfold in the junk bond space.
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.
"On March 1st I came into the office to find out that they had started the layoffs. These people were fairly new and were in departments that the executive staff has now deemed unnecessary. I worked in subprime auto during the Financial Crisis and it feels much worse right now than it did there in 2007 or 2008."
With Fitch now expecting $40 billion in US energy defaults in 2016, the question is who are the most likely candidates. In the following table, we list the distressed bonds which have an interest payment in the next 6 months - one which they very well may not make - and which will most likely be the first to default.
"We are in the bottom of the 8th or 9th inning, and unless the Fed steps in to add liquidity to the market, which seems unlikely, I don’t expect extra innings... there is no question that the bubble will burst, resulting in a mini or not-so-mini credit crisis."
Overnight, fund flow tracking service EPFR reported that US high yield funds recognized a $5.27bn (+2.8%) inflow for the week ended March 2nd, the largest ever in terms of $AUM and the 2nd largest on a percentage basis. As BofA notes, even more impressive is that the $2.37bn (+7.13%) net inflow for ETFs was the largest ever for the sub-asset class while the +$2.90bn (+1.87%) for open-end funds was the 3rd largest on record.
Once the current short squeeze is over, expect everyone to start paying far more attention to recovery rates and the true value of "fundamentals." Here's why.
And then there’s S&P’s “pessimistic scenario.”
Zero Hedge NAILED It ...