Institutional Investors

"Liar Loans" Are Back In 2007 Housing Bubble Redux

Don’t look now, but the infamous "Alt-As" are making a comeback thanks to “big money managers including Neuberger Berman, Pacific Investment Management Co. and an affiliate of Blackstone Group LP [who] are lobbying lenders to make more of these “liar’ loans—or even buying loan-origination companies to control more of the supply themselves,” WSJ reports.

Jim Bianco: "The Markets Are Telling Us There's A Severe Issue Out There"

"There is some truth to the phrase that the stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions... but that is a much better track record than the consensus of economists. Every time the financial markets get volatile and messy like this it deserves attention because the markets are trying to tell us that there is a severe issue out there."

SandRidge On The Verge Bankruptcy: Would Be 2nd Largest Shale Chapter 11 In Past Year

As we said two days ago when looking at the paltry recoveries on their total debt that bankrupt energy debtors are generating in liquidation and bankruptcy asset sales, "the energy bankruptcy party is only just starting." And sure enough, overnight we learned that another company is preparing to throw in the towel following a Reuters report that SandRidge Energy - a shale oil and gas producer in the Mid-Continent region of the U.S. - is exploring debt restructuring options, "as the heavily indebted U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company struggles with the fallout from plunging energy prices."

Frontrunning: January 25

  • Oil Drops as Saudis to Maintain Spending, China Diesel Use Falls (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia is able to withstand low prices says Saudi Aramco Chairman (WSJ)
  • Recession Warnings May Not Come to Pass (WSJ)... or they May
  • Stocks moving in tandem are squeezing short sellers (FT)... as first noted here in 2013
  • Problems Found at Theranos Lab (WSJ)
  • New York rebounds after blizzard, Washington shuts down government (Reuters)
  • China business confidence, recruitment hit record lows in January - SMI survey (Reuters)

Oil Slides Dragging Global Stocks, US Futures Lower, After Saudi Aramco Supply Comments

After the biggest two-day surge in oil in seven years, early in the overnight session both Brent and WTI continued their run for a third day, entering a bull market, 20% up from recent lows hit just last week (still 15% down on the year) when Saudi Arabia spoiled the momentum party after  the world’s biggest crude exporter said it’s keeping up investments in energy projects while diesel consumption in China dropped for a fourth consecutive month, signaling an industrial slowdown. And thanks to the near record correlation between equities and oil, global stocks and US equity index futures initially rose only to slide following the Saudi comments.

Meet The Peer 2 Peer Lending Website That Funded The San Bernardino Shooters

"Prosper is the market leader in peer-to-peer lending-a popular alternative to traditional loans and investing options. Prosper allows people to invest in each other in a way that is financially and socially rewarding. We cut out the middleman to connect people who need money with those who have money to everyone prospers!"

BIS Warns The Fed Rate Hike May Unleash The Biggest Dollar Margin Call In History

"While funding continued to be available, such a large negative basis indicates potential market dislocations. And this may call into question how smoothly US dollar funding conditions will adjust in the event of an increase in US onshore interest rates. Similar pricing anomalies have also emerged in interest rate swap markets recently, raising related concerns."

Why To Fred Hickey These Are The "Last Gasps Of A Dying Bull Market (And Economy)"

"Deteriorating market breadth and herding into an ever-narrower number of stocks is classic market top behavior. Currently, there are many other warning signs that are also being ignored. The merger mania, the stock buyback frenzy, the year-over-year declines in corporate sales and falling earnings for the entire S&P 500 index, the plunges this year in the high-yield and leveraged loan markets, the topping and rolling over of the massive (record) level of stock margin debt... and I could go on."

"Buy The Dips! What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" Axel Merk Warns "A Hell Of A Lot"

The lack of fear in risky assets is another way of saying that risk premia have been low, or as we also like to put it, that complacency has been high. Not fully appreciative of this inherent risk, it seems many investors have refrained from rebalancing their portfolios, and bought the dips instead. We believe the Fed’s efforts to engineer an exit from its ultra-low monetary policy should get risk premia to rise once again, that if fear should come back to the market, volatility should rise, creating headwinds to ‘risky’ assets, including equities. That said, this isn’t an overnight process, as the ‘buy the dip’ mentality has taken years to be established. Conversely, it may take months, if not years, for investors to shift focus to capital preservation, i.e. to sell into rallies instead.