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NYSE Margin Debt Rises To New All Time High As Net Worth Slides To Record Low

Tyler Durden's picture




 

With everything else in uncharted territory: central bank balance sheets, the stock market, global debt, it was only a matter of time before that old-school indicator of exuberance - margin debt - also joined the ranks of things that are "off the charts." Never one to disappoint (except when Waddell and Reed dumps a "massive" 75,000 ES trade which promptly kills its liquidity replenishment points of course), the NYSE has reported that April margin debt, as expected, hit all time records, just in time for the S&P's own all time high fireworks spectacular.  Rising from the just shy of summer of 2007 levels posted in March, or $380 billion, April margin debt not surprisingly rose to a record high of $384 billion. Additionally, even when netting out account credit metrics, such as Free Credit Cash and Credit Balances in margin accounts, total investor net worth just hit an all time record low of ($106) billion.

In short: investors have never been more levered.

And that is only looking at legacy metrics. Recall that as per recent regulations requiring that hedge funds expose gross leverage via Form PF, just the top 50 or so HFs have gross exposure of over $1.3 trillion, which means they are levered massively more than their LP realize, and than the naive NYSE margin statistic indicates.

But that is a topic for a different day.

For now let's just bask in the simplicity of the good old days, where NYSE margin was relevant, and not get too scared by what the true margin level in the market may actually be, especially when one takes into account the leverage on the Fed's own balance sheet.

 

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Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:33 | 3605437 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I find it hard to label anyone who is leveraged as an "investor." It seems more akin to auto-erotic asphyxiation.

You might get off better than ever, or you might end up dead.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:39 | 3605457 Zer0head
Zer0head's picture

"Now it's time to start thinking about adding on another monthly payment" says a woman with her kid looking at cars in SoCal (on NBS news)

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:57 | 3605506 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

I could talk about asphyxiation 'till I'm blue in the face.

Also not forgetting lovely 30:1 levered 3.5% down FHA mortgages.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:33 | 3605596 Duffminster
Duffminster's picture

The reasons this market should crash are at least 10 times greater than why it should go higher.  You know what that means don't you.  Its going higher.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:35 | 3605446 Jim B
Jim B's picture

The Exchange should pretend it is gold and raise the margin requirements (/S)

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:35 | 3605448 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

the bernank is pleased

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:27 | 3605582 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

The squid will be pleased soon. Just waiting for the right moment to lower the boom. All your VaR are belong to us.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:43 | 3605468 PAWNMAN
PAWNMAN's picture

What a side show this "market" has become! Just load up on margin on Tuesdays. Who needs a degree in finance from an Ivy League institution when investing is this easy!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:47 | 3605480 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

should be fine. "all trades are winners." now lets talk moonbases...fully paid for by the private sector.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:51 | 3605486 Dareconomics
Dareconomics's picture

Retail investors going all in is a negative indicator for the stock market. 

http://dareconomics.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/around-the-globe-05-28-2013/

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:58 | 3605508 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Retail investors? They still exist?

I thought it was Benny and his merry men.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:30 | 3605591 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

No retail. Hedge funds and retirement money, but the squid sees it and knows hunger.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:52 | 3605492 spine001
spine001's picture

it is easy when you are playing with somebody elses hard earned money. Let me tell you, when I participated in the CNBC million dollar portfolio in 2011, it was so easy to make huge bets with funky money and return a huge 30% in only 30 days of trading!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:52 | 3605494 John Bigboote
John Bigboote's picture

This type of margin debt is not only encouraged but will be enabled indefinitely. Precious metals, not so much.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:06 | 3605529 chump666
chump666's picture

A bullet proof market?

hahahahahahahaha

Japan's 'non correction' that was actually a take-down crash was just a taste of something wicked this way comes.

 

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:30 | 3605557 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

BTW - I'm pretty sure my friend Larry Kudlow has started drinking and snorting coke again.

"Ben Bernanke is a miracle worker and the economy is recovering" (paraphrase).

Yup, save a couple of lines and the Brunette for me Larry.

p.s. - ROFLMAO!  Larry Kudlow just said that Bitcoin is not money; nothing is money until it is tied to something else.  Larry!  Hello!?!?  The Dollar?  "King" Dollar!?!?  Oh boy...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:17 | 3605716 bluskyes
bluskyes's picture

I would think that it's not true money, unless it has no tie to anything else. Fed Notes are tied to debt. Gold is tied to nothing.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:13 | 3607489 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Gold is tied to its properties, its scarcity, and its popularity. 

 

So I would say that gold is not exactly tied to nothing. Fed Notes on the other hand, they are only tied to taxation and debt, neither of which the people want, so it's a no brainer which one will win out over the long run.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:22 | 3605570 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

...and that does not count the leverage on the Feds balance sheet I would presume.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:01 | 3605648 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

     LMAO, not at you Tyler. Commodity currencies should be screaming if equity markets are at all time highs.

The aud/usd just tankered out down to .9555. Iron.copper,gold,silver,lumber,ect... all in the shitter. The usd should weaken when risk is on. (it strengthens) Bond yields are spiking as well.

   June gloom Bitchez. Be careful of this month end rebalancing/flow crap.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:56 | 3605659 Tombstone
Tombstone's picture

Don't worry...when TSLA hits $250 and FSLR hits $150, it will be time to think about a top.  Until then, ride the wave of Benny Bucks rising higher and higher.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:12 | 3605699 Racer
Racer's picture

Shorts are also leveraged, are these included in the calculations?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:57 | 3605800 jcaz
jcaz's picture

Yep, which makes this point rather moot, actually......

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:49 | 3605779 venturen
venturen's picture

Are you leveraged if you have a money printer in your basement?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 01:12 | 3606422 Xue
Xue's picture

Best thing you could do now is to keep lots of dry powder in cash and hedge it with a bit of gold, waiting for the next stock market reset.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:50 | 3606967 HeliBen
HeliBen's picture

This should end well. Bernanke needs to pull the ole soft landing and Goldilocks economy talk out right about now...

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