Due To "Triple Damages" Under False Claims Act, Deutsche Bank Damages May Total More Than $1 Billion - Full Lawsuit AttachedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/03/2011 10:47 -0400
Step aside Goldman Sachs, welcome Deutsche Bank: "This is a civil mortgage fraud lawsuit brought by the United States against Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT. As set forth below, Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT repeatedly lied to be included in a Government program to select mortgages for insurance by the Government. Once in that program, they recklessly selected mortgages that violated program rules in blatant disregard of whether borrowers could make mortgage payments. While Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT profited from the resale of these Government-insured mortgages, thousands of America homeowners have faced default and eviction, and the Government has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance claims, with hundreds of millions of dollars more expected to be paid in the future... Deutsche Bank and MortgageIT had powerful financial incentives to invest resources into generating as many FHA-insured mortgages as quickly as possible for resale to investors... DB and MortgageIT repeatedly lied to HUD to obtain and maintain MortgageIT's Direct Endorsement Lender status.... Their violations of HUD rules were egregious." And what investors are focused on: "In this suit, the United States seeks treble damages and penalties under the False Claims act and compensatory and punitive damages under the common law theories of breach of fiduciary duty, gross negligence, negligence, and indemnification for the insurance claims already paid by HUD for mortgages wrongfully endorsed by MortgageIT. In addition, the United States seeks compensatory and punitive damages." And what is also notable is that this fraud persisted well past the housing crunch, continuing well into 2009 according to the lawsuit.
Wall Street's worst kept secret is now out. From Reuters: "The United States sued Deutsche Bank AG, accusing the German bank and its MortgageIT Inc unit of repeatedly lying to be included in a federal program to select mortgages to be insured by the government." And so, 2011 continues being a carbon copy of 2010, with only Deutsche Bank taking the place of Goldman this time around. Oh yes, Greg Lipmmann we hardly knew ye (and we didn't even short your house).
This one caught us by surprise. Today, Deutsche Bank announced it was suspending new issuance in the PowerShares Agriculture Double Long ETF, the DAG. What is odd, is that unlike last week's announcement by Barclays that it would start unwinding its triple inverse S&P ETF (BXDD), which has logically been plunging as the market levitates ever higher on ever lower volume, the DAG has done exactly the opposite. In fact, as the chart below shows, the DAG is trading close to its 52 week high, having tripled from the 52 week low in July (yet still $12 away from its all time high reached in 2008). Therefore, this is not a performance issue, which needs a reverse stock split to be resolved, and likely indicates some deeper issues with creation of shares in what is rapidly becoming the hottest asset space.
One of the bigger news this morning is the so far unconfirmed report that Bundesbank President Axel Weber, who has been in the running to replace Jean Claude Trichet, has decided against an ECB future, and instead wants to make money at Deutsche Bank. The sudden about turn in the process has left many wondering why so late in the process, and just what about the ECB is it that makes Weber leery of affixing his fate to the central bank without a unified bond printing facility. From BusinessWeek: "Deutsche Bundesbank President Axel Weber will step down and wants to join Deutsche Bank AG, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported today, without saying where it obtained the information."
Steve Abrahams, Head of MBS and Securitization Research predicts home prices to drop nationally another 5-11% through 2012 (Florida of course will take much longer.) Oooo, fun!
It was less than 24 hours ago that we presented the latest 2011 outlook from Deutsche Bank's highly credible Fixed Income group, which had one of the bleakest economic outlooks for 2011, and we quote: "there are so many headwinds to work through, that recovery
is not consistent with premature monetary tightening by either the Fed
or the markets. Fiscal stimulus buys time in 2011 but little else.
Ironically the stronger growth looks, the more likely fiscal tightening
will come into play sooner keeping the recovery on a backfoot. However, in our view, at best this buys some time for recovery. The deficit is huge and meaningful fiscal tightening is not far behind. Even if we dodge the Ricardian bullet of equivalence in 2011, there is at least 1 if not 2 percent of fiscal tightening slated for 2012. If underlying economic growth remains in the 2-3 percent range, there is a sharp slowing implied for 2012." Yet this very rational view does not prevent that other DBer, Binky Chadha, who completely refuses to even cross check memos from other groups in the firm, and who in making even Joe LaVorgna sound credible, comes out with a report which can only be classified as going uberfull retard: "The strategic and tactical cases for US equities should come together to generate strong market returns in 2011 The S&P 500 YE 2011 target remains unchanged at 1550.We estimate $96 in EPS and a fair value multiple of 16.4x. These may look ambitious, but viewed against a Q4 2010 annualized $91.5 our estimate looks modest; a 16.5 multiple was the average in the 1930s. 25% price appreciation would not be atypical for a post-midterm election year, historically the strongest in the election cycle." All we can say is that when clowns take over the insane asylum, the end result is so much better than a hostile take over by lunatics: at least the consequences are so infinitely funnier. To all who believe that EPS can remain at projected levels once margins collapse across the board courtesy of an explosion in input costs should this prediction be even partially correct, all we can suggest is to buy every Cramer stock recommendation without question.
There is more to Deutsche Bank than just that douchey joke of an economist who appears on CNBC every other day to repeat that the November NFP number was irrelevant (incidentally we agree, simply because everything out of the BLS now has the same trustworthiness as Chinese data, and the November number was politically motivated to pass the UI extension) and who changes his story diametrically and on a daily basis, with every incremental piece of economic data that does not fit his amateur theories. Deutsche Bank has always had a very decent fixed income platform, and we are happy to announce that in reading the firm's 2011 FI forecast we encounter not only views that diametrically oppose those of the aforementioned hack (for which alone the report is worth reading), but also has some very detailed and insightful observations (which we are confident David Rosenberg would agree with wholeheartedly). The report's summary: bonds may drop a little more, then surge once it becomes clear the economy is as scroomed as always. And another interesting observation, which has to the do with ending the 10s30s flattener trade. We tend to agree with that as well. Having almost penetrated 100 bps today, the second retest proved unsuccessful, and the time for a steeper long-end is coming (primarily due to a renormalization of the curve), and a flattening of the 2s10s.
The bank notes it will issue 308.6 million shares for total gross proceeds of €10.2 billion. This is somewhat perplexing as the bank currently trades at €46.88 on the XETRA. In other words, DB is selling one third of itself on a pro forma basis. Of course, this will mean a bloodbath for all the smaller banks once they commence their Basel III required capital raising activities as their discount will have to be far greater than DB's.
Rumors circulating in the market that the biggest German bank, the one whose assets are about as large as the GDP of its host country, is considering a share sale of up to €9 billion. DB is rumored to have approached banks about arranging a stock sale, although the firm has still not decided to whether to pull the trigger. This development is nothing less than a direct response to Basel III which is expected to require European banks to shore up tens if not hundreds of billions in new equity capital. And as usual the first one loses the least. This only means that all the ugly toxic waste accumulated under the rug in Europe's financial institutions is about to emerge.
Some stunning bearish commentary from the staple CNBC goto analyst (Joe Lavorgna as if the clarification is needed) when worthless permabullish commentary is required. "We expect Q2 real GDP growth to be revised down sharply from +2.4% to +1.0% because of lower inventories (-$25B) and construction (-$4B) as well as a larger trade deficit (+$15B)." In other news, Zero Hedge still calls, and has for about 4 weeks now, a final Q2 GDP of under 1%, and under -3% when the impacts of the stimulus are excluded.
Our expected economic groupthink revision by the sellside "strategists" is accelerating, as now even permabullish CNBC permaguest Joe LaVorgna "takes the knife" to his Q2 GDP estiamte. Yet despite presumably seeing the light, he only cuts Q3 and Q4 estiamtes to 3.0% and 3.3%, still hundreds of bps higher than Goldman, and even worse when compared to reality. David Bianco and his stratospheric GDP will stick out like a speedoless nudist in the middle of the liquidity ocean when the economic tide finally goes out. Luckily, Bianco has no credibility to begin with so the concept of discrediting surely does not apply.
When the SEC'a Robert Khuzami recently recused himself of pursuing an investigation against Deutsche Bank in regard to potential CDO malfeasance, a bank where it is common knowledge the CDOs flowed (and were shorted "where appropriate" by Mr. Lippmann and his henchmen) like manna from heaven, we were curious just how large the conflict of interest must be for him to not pursue hisofficial duty. Luckily, we were able to answer this question when we recently encountered Mr. Khuzami's Public Financial Disclosure Report for Executive Branch Personnel. It appears that Mr. Khuzami, who from 2002 to 2009 worked at DB, most recently as General Counsel, might have directly profited quite handsomely from the very activity he is now prosecuting Goldman, and other banks very likely soon, for engaging in. How handsomely? His 2007 bonus, 2008 salary and bonus, and 2009 salary added up to $3,804,537. This works out to about $1.9 million in comp per year. And let's not forget that 2006/2007 was the peak years for DB's CDO issuance. It sure seems Mr. Khuzami benefited nicely as a participant in precisely the kind of CDO gimmickry that he is currently all over Goldman for. Yet most ironic, is that Robert is expecting to receive between $100,001 and $250,000 in vested deferred stock comp from Deutsche Bank in August 2010. Should he, or someone else at the SEC, commence an investigation into Khuzami's former employer, the SEC's Director of Enforcement is sure to lose a substantial amount of money tied into the absolute value of Deutsche Bank stock.
Here comes the next witchhunt: The Atlantic, citing two Deutsche Bank traders, reports that the German bank is guilty of an identical transgression that Goldman (and to a much lesser extent, John Paulson) is in hot water for currently: i.e., DB arranged a deal for IKB designed by JP. Look for DB's stock to drop as expectations for a Wells Notice hit fever pitch. The reason one has not come yet is because, as we reported this weekend, Robert Khuzami has recused himself from investigating Deutsche due to his long tenure there as a lawyer (presumably supervising CDO issuance). The reason one most likely is in the making, is that, as we also reported, Greg Lippmann, or the head Deutsche CDO trader mysteriously departed last week. Look for much more weakness in fins over the next few days.
Circle Jerk 101: The SEC's Robert Khuzami Oversaw Deutsche Bank's CDO, Has Recused Himself Of DB-Related MattersSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/24/2010 13:08 -0400
The incest continues: the WSJ has informed that the SEC's chief investigator, Robert Khuzami, used to be general counsel for Deutsche Bank, and presumably reviewed numerous CDO-related transaction, while on the "other side" of the wall. "As part of that job, he worked with lawyers who advised on the CDOs
issued by the German bank and how details about them should be
disclosed to investors. The group included more than 100 lawyers who
also defended the bank against lawsuits and vetted other financial
products, these people said." The good: he probably knows more about CDOs than any other person in government administration history, and thus would not have brought on the Goldman case without being aware of all the potential tripwire nuances (and yes, if the Goldman case gets to the discovery stage, which it will, it is game over for Goldman's defense strategy, which means settlement and/or much worse). The bad: who knows how many Deustche Bank CDO's of comparable or worse nature he allowed to see the light of day. The most interesting: "Because of Mr. Khuzami's old job and his financial interest in the
company, he has recused himself from any matters related to Deutsche
Bank, according to an SEC spokesman." With Greg Lippmann's (legendary head of CDO trading at the German firm whose assets are greater than all of Germany's GDP) recent sudden departure, and the SEC being prevented from bringing CDO-related charges against the bank (for the time being), is DB currently actively cleaning up its tracks? After all the firm was one of the top 3 CDO issuers in the period under consideration.
The bottom is about to fall out for Goldman. First Reuters reports that Deutsche CEO Josef Ackerman will be asked to testify in relation to the near-collapse of German IKB, a bank that has gained sudden notoriety for being implicated in the alleged Goldman CDO fraud as a dumb buyer of anything pitched to it. As Deutsche Bank has previous been blamed for the near-collapse of IKB by its former CEO Stefan Orstfein, would not be surprised if Josef takes this chance to join the "blame Goldman" bandwagon to deflect attention from himself. Ironically, Deutsche Bank is certainly not without blame as its CDO-desk managed by just departed Greg Lippmann was one of the powerhouses in arranging Abacus-type deals in the 2005-2007 time period. And inseparate news, again Reuters notes that France is the latest, after Germany and the UK, to "mull" a Goldman probe. Whether British, French and other German companies will follow in BayernLB's footsteps and stop trading with Goldman remains to be seen. Certainly, there is an element of politics to all such actions, and political players in Germany and the UK are most in need of populist electoral boosts, while France not so much, at least for the time being.