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Is Morgan Stanley's Biggest Asset Their Debt?

Tyler Durden's picture


Via Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors

Stocks added to their rally today when Gasparino leaked news that MS was going to have a "solid" quarter and they were going to beat GS.

Morgan Stanley has $187 billion of public debt according to Bloomberg.  Just eyeballing it, the average maturity looks close to 4 years, but let's be conservative and assume it is 3 years.  I found a nice looking benchmark bond.  The MS 4.2% of 11/20/14.  It is a $2 billion issue.  The only round lot TRACE print on Sept 30th, was a dealer buy of $5 million or more at a price of 96.156.  That was a yield of 5.6%.  On June 30th, the bond TRACED a couple times at 103.6 to yield 3.08%.   A November 2014 treasury, yielded 0.47% on September 30th, giving a spread of 5.1%.  Back on June 30th that same treasury yielded 1% so the spread on this bond was just over 2% at the end of last quarter.

So MS 3 year bonds widened by over 300 bps during the quarter.  3 year MS CDS widened by 380 bps (from 113 to 493), so the move in bonds actually outperformed the move in CDS.  I do not understand exactly how banks account for spread widening in their P&L.  I don't think all of their bonds are in the "mark to market" book.  Maybe they can only write down the discount from par, rather than the full move, but these bonds alone, if they were mark to market, might generate 4% on $2 billion.  That would be $80 million.

Is MS planning on taking a massive gain on marking their own bonds?  There were stories of MS buying back their own bonds - a great move if they though they were cheap, but a critical move if they were planning on taking a gain and didn't want to have to give it back in the future if their credit spreads tightened.

Goldman has slightly less debt at $178 billion, but the spread widened far less. In the quarter GS 3 year CDS only widened by 224 bps (from 94 to 318).  I found a nice 3 year GS benchmark bond.  The 5.5% of 11/15/14 with an issue size of $1.3 billion.  On the 30th of Sept, 250k of these bonds traded at a price of 105.65 to yield 3.55%.  On July 1 and June 29th, these bonds traded at 108.6 on just over 250k to yield 2.8%.  It looks like the spread went from 180 bps to 308 bps.  Not great but a far cry from what we saw on MS.  The bonds were still above par, and with my limited knowledge of accounting, I would guess you cannot take a write down on bonds above par, unless you took a loss.

Is this why the MS CEO is so confident they will have a good quarter and beat GS?  I honestly hope not.  If the CEO of MS is playing accounting games (totally legal, but stupid) on their own spreads and thinks the markets will respect that, than I am very nervous about what is going on there.  The market is in turmoil, there are concerns out there, valid or not, and the CEO should not be worried about "beating the quarter" by taking accounting gains on their own debt.  Sadly, so far the facts fit.

The ability to book profits on your own debt widening makes sense in a very very limited way.  If you are running a match funded book with all your assets mark to market, then it makes sense to offset those losses against your funding.  Well, at least a little sense.  The problem is, that at the extreme, if you default you would have one amazing quarter when you got to right all your debt down, but it still means you are in default.  Actually I vaguely remember that in default you cannot book a profit on your debt widening, in fact you have to write it all back up to par.  One strange rule.

Again, I am just throwing this out there, but the facts fit as well as anything - Morgan Stanley has reduced risk, so how exactly are they going to blow the cover off the ball this quarter?  Volumes are down in most products, so it would be very impressive if they made it acting as agent.  In the end, I think they may be planning to take a big healthy gain on their own spread widening.  That fixes nothing, and I don't think many analysts will look through it, if that is their plan.

CDS spread performance of the TBTFs for Q3 - why MS beats GS?

and below stock performance for Q3...

Charts: Bloomberg

ZeroHedge Update: For those curious to learn more about this phenomenon, here is our first take on this paradox from April 2009!

ZeroHedge 4/22/09 - The Law Of Unintended "Fair Value Option" Consequences

Financial company stock prices have been on a tear these days, undoubtedly based on glowing, solid results. After all didn't Wells just have a blow out quarter? What is that you say, $5 billion in "earnings" were based on FAS 157-4 reversal and accounting gimmicks? Why should that matter to investors who are happy to buy N/M forward PE stocks any time Cramer top ticks the market, or the Power Lunch brigade glowers in the self proclaimed next American Golden Age.


Well, the financial ripfest, while benefiting bank prop desks (or at least the one that is left) may end up having some unfortunate side effects for none other than the banks themselves, and especially their accounting voodoo: the basis for the recently announced stellar financial results.


The issue at hand is the "Fair Value Option", which under US GAAP essentially allows the booking of a pre-tax profit when a bank's debt trades lower in the open market. This benefits banks that opt-in for FVO instead of other accounting approaches such as amortized cost, or historic cost.


And so readers can get a perspective of just how large an accounting "benefit" the FV Option is to financials, observe the table below which compares 2008 bank Net Income with the Pre-Tax Gain from Fair-Valuing of Own Debt.

For a somewhat rough proxy of how the five selected banks' debt securities have traded in recent times, please see the chart below.


Of the 2015 bonds, recent appreciation has been seen in Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse bonds, while the remainder have remained relatively flat or have even declined. Of course, these are merely proxies and many more securities are calculated for FVO per GAAP.


Regardless, if the equity run up persists, its is inevitable that bond spreads will tighten (see this post for comparisons for credit and equity levels in financials), thereby eroding the FVO pre-tax accounting benefit for companies with appreciating securities, and in fact will result in a negative pre-tax treatment. How much of a negative contributor to EPS it is will ultimately depend on i) how high equity security prices go and ii) how much of a catch up role comparable credit securities play in their price. It is likely that the respective CFOs are too aware of this phenomenon, and could be one explanation for the divergence between equity values and bond prices. If bonds had experienced the same run up as stock prices, the recently announced EPS for the major banks would have been much more adversely impacted.


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Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:31 | 1743664 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

They should put the money they don't have into STRIPS.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:36 | 1743679 SGS
SGS's picture

Open letter to James Gorman...CEO of Margin Stanley

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:34 | 1743869 max2205
max2205's picture

This explains exactly why US accounting rules are FOR SHIT.


Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:20 | 1743964 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

the lipstick the accountants are putting on the 3rd quarter pig will set new fashion & beauty standards!

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:40 | 1744000 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

CME issues another margin hike today: 15% on copper.

Expect Ag and Au margin hikes tomorrow or friday.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:47 | 1744011 CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

Here's an item which arrived in today's mail that may offer a more direct insight into the state of the TBTFs. The local branch of one such is offering $150 up front for a 90-day deposit of $10,000, $500 for a 90-day of $20,000. Still hoping that this train won't go over the cliff until summer 2012, but I don't know....

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 03:18 | 1744456 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

i too received a stack of those in the mail.

call your congressman email your senators to urge them to look into FAS159 'fair valuing option' of debt obligation

as their constituents it's your prerogative, your duty to press them into action

this cannot be tolerated book value on equities then fair value on liabilities

tb2f translates to 2big2be saved, 2unhanded2fall, 2corrupted2fail

these banks are leveraged to the extent that even if they rob us clean suck us dry

as they have been doing in the past, the 2b2f banks would as as soon all go down in flames

due to their over-exposure in overseas markets. bring it to the attention of your congressman

electoral support henge on the course of action taken by your respective representatives.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:56 | 1744164 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

Especially if they shave its legs and have it wear pumps.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 05:51 | 1744559 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Does this debt make my asset look big?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:21 | 1744096 Foxinsox
Foxinsox's picture

Not just US, these rules are almost identical under IFRS!

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:32 | 1743669 oogs66
oogs66's picture

it is 2008 again!  cramer was wrong

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:37 | 1743690 X.inf.capt
X.inf.capt's picture

more like the1930's...if were lucky...

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:17 | 1743821 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

More like 1776, revolt against the interest bearing currencies peddled by the banking cartel of england, return sovereignty to countries around the world

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:34 | 1743867 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

More like 476, when the german barbarian Odoacer betrayed Romulus Augustus and the Roman empire was officially done for.


Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:42 | 1743892 mossme89
mossme89's picture

More like the beginning of the millenium when the Internet bubble popped and we were all about to die because of computers. Only this time, the computers own the market. OMG!

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 02:14 | 1744421 Freddie
Freddie's picture

SkyNet and the algos run the show now.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:49 | 1743908 Comay Mierda
Comay Mierda's picture

Difference this time around is that our fearless leaders will engineer major false flag attacks or start nuclear war to distract the sheeple from their wealth consolidation

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 07:06 | 1744630 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

Right now, it looks as if the group "Anonymous" is untouchable by the Feds, CIA, NSA etc. They can hack anything and get away with it. How is this possible? It only seems to make sense to me if "Anonymous" is a US government operation (or maybe run offshore through a cooperative government).

Why would they do this?

Look what is happening outside of Wall Street in the park.

My guess is that the end of this story is already written.

- Anonymous, the hackers built up in the media to be untouchable, crash Wall Street.

- The OWS protestors are portrayed as winning and everyone wanting to see those evil Wall Street types punished feels good and yet poorer

- The fraud is unrecoverable and buried under data rubble comparable to the way the $2.3 trillion was buried in the Pentagon attack and the ENRON fraud data was buried and quickly carted away from the building 7 destruction.

- Someone will once again steal a boatload (of gold or whatever) as part of the operation

- And we will find Silverstein-like complicit parasites benefitting from the destruction.

It is the only way I can tie the three seemingly unrelated pieces together that makes sense.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:52 | 1743915 stirners_ghost
stirners_ghost's picture

You win.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:00 | 1743934 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I am thinking more like 76 CE or AD if u prefer

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:17 | 1744092 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

How about that time when Cain killed Abel because he was God's favorite...

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:36 | 1743683 The Fonz...befo...
The Fonz...before shark jump's picture

But bonus season is coming up...

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:40 | 1743700 Smithovsky
Smithovsky's picture

Maybe some of this profit comes from their mark-to-fantasy book

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:30 | 1743983 Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

Maybe some of it comes from writing puts the whole way down knowing they will expire worthless.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 02:12 | 1744417 Smithovsky
Smithovsky's picture

Or writing OTM calls on themselves, knowing those'll expire worthless as well.  

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:41 | 1743709 wombats
wombats's picture

Maybe they can swap them for BofA bonds.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:42 | 1743710 G_T_A_44
G_T_A_44's picture

2008 was merely the appetizer. What's forthcoming (and presently in the works/early innings) will make '08 look like childs'play.


Furthermore, they're all Barbi-Qng the books!

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:58 | 1743744 Manthong
Manthong's picture

" I do not understand exactly how banks account for spread widening in their P&L."

  I do.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:55 | 1743922 Gene8696
Gene8696's picture

I need the date...

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:42 | 1743713 pragmatic hobo
pragmatic hobo's picture

didn't lehman do this?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:45 | 1743726 Belarus
Belarus's picture

The large PD's and banks are all virtually bankrupt. It's just about pretending until one day their earnings outrun their balance sheet losses...

It's how it's done in America. Only problem is: there is and will be no growth. I heard Jamie Dimon talking about how everyone is underestimating the consumer because the are saving 5% and that their incomes are going up. So if they keep spending the same 95% and their incomes are going up well then, according to the Chief of Ponzi JPM, that will be amazing for the economy.

But wrong, and wrong Jamie. The problem is the 1 trillion in Disposable Income Growth since 2007, which gives way to the personal consumption line, has been solely benn attributed, or at least 80% of it, to two things: lower taxes and transfer payments for the United States Treasury. Lower taxes from borrowed money and transfer payments from borrowed money. 

With GDP at 2%, at best and only if you've got your rose colored glasses on anyway, there is no way to get real growth, not statiscal B.S. like measuring GDP in a vacuum. but no kidding real growth. And so what happens when you take away the punchbowl: the lower tax base and/or the transfer payments to try to plug the unfunded hole? 

Yup, Jamie Satan Dimon, anyone listening to you is going to get flogged and fleeced. Back to MS, they are basically fucked but no one will ever let them be...."here we come taxpayers, yet again" should be the TBTF's slogan.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:53 | 1743755 Belarus
Belarus's picture

One other point, you just know Buffett buying the preferred on BAC is a bad omen for the tax payer. This is cut and paste script for him from the 08 crises. He knows BAC is TBTF, and since management has been somewhat replaced, you just know they will be recapitalized when they are virturally down under.....leaving, of course, Buffett's preferred nice and peachy. 

And this should be considered inside information, because we know Obama will call Buffett to ask him what they should do when BAC ultimately bites the bullet. 


Thu, 10/06/2011 - 06:37 | 1744595 Joshua Falken
Joshua Falken's picture

Morgan Stanley are using cheap money to levereage their delta one, algorithmic and high frequency trading desks.  All the "hot shot" proprietary traders have gone to be replaced by floors of sales/traders constructing every possible iteration of linked and packaged structured product baskets and ETF's to be sold globally to private bankers and financial advisers.  

The initial selling margin is good, but the real edge comes in trading and manipulating the underlying basket to their own advantage.  Just look at how Morgan Stanley's VAR has balloned in the last few years as these programs require vast resources, but little unhedged outright underlying exposure (unless you have a Kerviel or Adoboli in your midst). Talk at the water cooler is that the delta one, algorithmic and high frequency trading desks are making out like bandits.

This is all very clever and makes loads of money at other peoples expense and certainly doesn't treat customers fairly.  

The unravelling comes when counterparties, credit, currencies or interest rates give birth to a black swan and Morgan Stanley's funding tightens.

Everyone thought Drexel Burnham, Bear Sterns and Lehman would be alright until they were not.

If you want to see the future - look at  and

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:53 | 1743730 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

This is dorked up. Their bonds are crashing so they book this as a gain, however if they buy the bonds at less than par on the open market then they are in default? Corporate accounting ubersux. Somehow I know this is going to translate into more bonuses. Pass the booze.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:01 | 1743775 rocker
rocker's picture

Most believe that the market will mimick 2008's decline, and it may.

I am just thinking about all the bullish talk from the pumpers and risk on crowd pounding the table.

I have never heard Bloomberg so bullish everyday. Every rally is explained as investors buying stocks.

Never explained as a Short Covering Rally.  Surely Robo is buying PCLN, CMA, and AMZN.  This has just got to be bullish.

Right ?    LOL    Not with my money.   I have to see real capitulation.  I have not.

Keeping Capital is more important than growing it at this point.  Including my Physical PMs.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:19 | 1743822 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

I'll take "what is the opposite of a kitchen sink quarter" for $200 Alex. This smacks of bonus conjuring to me ala JPM booking loan loss reserves as profit. Call it the "desperation scraping the bottom of the scuz bucket turning shit into champagne quarter" if they do this.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 05:56 | 1744561 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

The Cold Duck Quarter! Enough cold ducks and a black swan is not required.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:39 | 1743997 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

It won't mimic 2008.  The period between crashes was too short, and most people never recovered- when it goes again, it's going to turn millions off from any kind of investment at all, probably for good.  The fact that shorts keep getting slammed by last-second algo driven rallies isn't helping, either- retail investors might be willing to adjust and learn new strategies, but not when every attempt leads to losses.

Bankers and hedge funds will trade amongst themselves for a while, I'm sure- but eventually, it's not going to be much fun for them, either, as the money is just shuffled back and forth, with no one left to fleece.  

I expect that from here on out, there will be a few generations that won't put a nickel in a bank, and keep thier savings in coffee cans and under matresses.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 00:56 | 1744321 unununium
unununium's picture

buzz, I don't know where you get that buying for < par is a default event.

Rather, Tschir thinks maybe these fantasy earnings disappear IF company is in default.

Nobody has mentioned the most infuriating thing, which is that FASB lets these assholes mark everything else to fantasy, but mark this one item to market since it is the one thing that results in a benefit.

All semblance of fair accounting has disappeared.  God save us.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 20:49 | 1743746 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Where have I heard of this type of stunt before?

Maybe it's the rum talkin', but I could swear that back in '07-'09 this sort of story was floating around about somebody.

Any of the Gurus-That-Be remember ish?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:11 | 1743801 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

enron, and more recently merrill were both fond of buy-back shenanigans.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:21 | 1743831 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Thanks Pete, Tyler, and Buzz.

I should have never doubted the rum.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:42 | 1743889 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Frank explains this strategy starting one minute in:

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:21 | 1744097 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I bet there's some stuff in the Zerohedge archives if you search for Repo-105.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:00 | 1743771 The4thStooge
The4thStooge's picture

So basically they've got a bunch of bad dynamite laying around that could go off at anytime, and to keep themselves from blowing up, they're gonna buy back some of the dynamite they've sold to other firms. Sounds like something a suicidal financial terrorist would do.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:06 | 1743785 Sequitur
Sequitur's picture

Great post. This is the only thing these goddamn banks and their client "technology" is good for: massaging the books and bullshitting the market. Hire some vapid accountants and lawyers to pass on this FASB accounting a la Enron, Worldcom, Quest.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:07 | 1743786 chump666
chump666's picture

MS is pile of crap.

Watching Asia's thin volume melt-up.  Tasty.

Lets see, three days of meltups, thin volumes (asia) somewhat tightening on Asian CDS's, European 'leaders' are now clinically insane, US markets rallying on panic buy-ups...

Next week will be a bloodbath.




Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:13 | 1743788 Big Ben
Big Ben's picture

Could the MS executives be pulling out all accounting stops hoping to print one last good quarter before everything falls to pieces?

It could be that bonuses are computed based on earnings, regardless of whether or not those earnings come from accounting gimmicks.

The MS equation: (shareholder_equity) + (taxpayer_bailouts) = executive_bonuses

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:24 | 1744105 lano1106
lano1106's picture

or maybe they will use the repo 105 trick:


Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:49 | 1744151 Sambo
Sambo's picture

The CEO told the other MS employees not to expect big bonuses this year.

If they are going to have a great qtr, why hold back the bonuses?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:09 | 1743796 rawsienna
rawsienna's picture

They will have a massive Mark to Market gain.  But does not matter, they cant survive if they need to roll over their maturing debt at those levels. 

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:57 | 1743926 chump666
chump666's picture

You are right.  If CDS spreads blowout, then short them.  Eventually wall street will start downgrading it's self. 


Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:12 | 1743805 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Maybe you're not a ZeroHedger and you think we're crazy and you pose the mocking question, "What is so wrong with modern finance and modern economies?"  Well, this fucked up shit is your answer.  This is an outrage and a perversion of everything that is good and productive in an economy.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:21 | 1743832 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

It's not just their debt, if they have written any derivatives, they can mark down their liabilities on those due to their weakened counterparty rating (the idea being the liabilities are lower given that there is a reduced perception that they can pay those liabilities).

Again, total BS, but GAAP accounting.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:42 | 1743844 Motley Fool
Motley Fool's picture

This is truly fucking amazing. It's like cutting your own hand off and serving it for dinner, claiming proudly that you have food.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:12 | 1743953 jomama
jomama's picture

technically speaking, you do.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 06:24 | 1744585 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Like chicken feet, I find that banker hand isn't good - except for stock.

Get it? Stock...

<bada boom tsss>


Thu, 10/06/2011 - 08:59 | 1744932 Motley Fool
Motley Fool's picture

Sure. And technically speaking this canabilization will allow them to pay themselves some bonuses.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 06:47 | 1744602 rufusbird
rufusbird's picture

Not to mention you telling everyone you have lost weight recently!

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 09:03 | 1744960 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

My hand for dinner? That doesn't sound very "finger licking" good at all.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:29 | 1743856 Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

I am still trying to digest the ramifications here, so pardon my ignorance, but is this not stealth 'QE' on the private side via the repeal of mark to market for TBTF's? 

My gut tells me you are on to something big here, and to be perfectly honest, it scares me a bit.  Research will be forthcoming, I do not have what it takes to get to the bottom of this alone at this hour.  Where is BK?


Bruce, can we get a back of the napkin analysis of this?  Enquiring minds want to know, and you seem to have the connections to break this thing down.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:30 | 1743861 Melin
Melin's picture

"If the CEO of MS is playing accounting games (totally legal, but stupid) on their own spreads and thinks the markets will respect that..."

I imagine the CEO's not used to having to consider whether the markets will respect his actions.  That only matters under Capitalism (where credibality is key). It pains me to quote Jim DeMint on many levels but he refers to our system as Venture Socialism.  Seems apt.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:31 | 1743863 winter is coming
winter is coming's picture

Tyler you should create a pool for ZH users on when we think MS will die

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 02:04 | 1744411 Outlaw Of The W...
Outlaw Of The Wasteland's picture

Intrade should start a bac vs ms bankruptcy horserace.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:41 | 1743885 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

MS has probably seen a "generational low" based on the huge volume coming off the lows.

Biggest two day volume punch ever, and both days were up days.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:43 | 1743891 Motley Fool
Motley Fool's picture

We are talking rat generations then, right?

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 00:19 | 1744221 fuu
fuu's picture

Fruit fly generations.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 00:44 | 1744297 Hephasteus
Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:43 | 1743893 oogs66
oogs66's picture

"generational low"  did the new generation start in 2010????

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:02 | 1743936 chump666
chump666's picture

Mid week meltup, factored in.  There is no escaping the slaughter.  Europe is using words to underwrite their collapsing economy, good for another 12hrs.  US markets are again panic buy-ups, this has been going on for weeks.  Till the whole thing slides lower.



Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:59 | 1744037 buck4free
buck4free's picture

My sentiments exactly.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:28 | 1744112 lano1106
lano1106's picture

I wonder the size of the chunk of the federal spending of 160 B$ of the last 3 days went to ESF to support this melt-up...


Thu, 10/06/2011 - 06:26 | 1744588 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

RoboTarder is teh funny...

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:42 | 1743887 oogs66
oogs66's picture

wait til dick bove explains why this is all wrong, before the earnings release confirms it is all correct


Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:43 | 1743894 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Hong Kong on fire, up about 5% in the first few minutes.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:48 | 1743906 Zone1
Zone1's picture

Can a company buy its own bonds back without a formal tender mechanism?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:49 | 1743909 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

technically MS did not buy "their own" debt if this rumor is of their off balance sheet LLC's (likely MS POS III LLC or some variation) purchased the debt since it now legal to do so under the several new stealth banking regs and can carry said debt at par since FAS 157 is dead.....therefore booking the gains now.


Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:49 | 1743910 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

technically MS did not buy "their own" debt if this rumor is of their off balance sheet LLC's (likely MS POS III LLC or some variation) purchased the debt since it now legal to do so under the several new stealth banking regs and can carry said debt at par since FAS 157 is dead.....therefore booking the gains now.


Wed, 10/05/2011 - 21:53 | 1743917 nwskii
nwskii's picture

fo get about it, x- factor is on all is well

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:00 | 1743932 Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

Considering the desperate games corporate welfare queen MS has been revealed to have been playing with the Fed, does its published balance sheet even matter? MS = Many Secrets.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:06 | 1743943 the bankster
the bankster's picture

that trick worked time after time back in 08 and 09, and i wouldnt be surpirsed to see it work again.  especially with Fox and CNBC asking the questions.  even MDs and heads of trading desks couldn't see through it.  supposedly some banks figured out a way to avoid having to reverse the gains (from MTM liability losses) out of earning when spreads recovered.  or at least spread them out over a longer time, doing an end run around fas 159.  i doubt anyone was even watching whether they did.



Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:06 | 1743944 jomama
jomama's picture

wow... that really puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:19 | 1743960 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Jeffrey Skilling has to be pissed about these accounting scams they run now

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 03:35 | 1744472 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

skilling got outclassed, he's envious

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:22 | 1743966 Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

Sell the rumor buy the news?  Good night fellas

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:24 | 1743973 Goldtoothchimp09
Goldtoothchimp09's picture


In the spirit of Occupy Wall Street - I put together a collection of videos for people interested in learning more about our financial system.  People here have probably seen some of these before... Some are must views, such as The Warning by PBS

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 00:23 | 1743984 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Funny story. I was driving home tonight and listening to NPR (yea, I know, they suck but there is no other news where I live), and interestingly enough, they mentioned MS's problems on Marketplace, saying:

"Alisa Roth: The most obvious damage to Morgan Stanley so far has been its share price, which at one point this week was down 20 percent. It's come back since then, but people are still clearly worried about the bank.

Brad Hintz follows financial institutions at Sanford Bernstein. He's also a former treasurer at Morgan Stanley. He says the rumors -- which started with a post written under a pseudonym on a financial blog -- unfairly single out Morgan Stanley."

I wonder if they are they refering to TD and ZH? I think they might have been. I listened closely for the name of the blog, but I didn't hear any mentioned and there's nothing in the transcript.

Another choice quote: "Charles Whitehead: Rumors that are circulated can become effectively self-fulfilling prophecies."

I don't think these chuckleheads have any idea how bad their journalism is, and how their own complicity with the banking cartel has 1) created a massive void for real reporting - which the Tylers and ZH is filling quite well, and 2) implicates them as accomplices to this racket.  I think it's time to pull out RICO and take the whole criminal establishment down. The man for the job: Bill Black.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 01:21 | 1744361 Dirt Rat
Dirt Rat's picture

This is the post that started it, I think. Yves Smith over at nakedcapitalism also did variations on the theme.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 01:57 | 1744394 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Ah, well there we have it. I read it the day it was posted but didn't realize the significance.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:44 | 1744005 prophet
prophet's picture

financial accounting is fradulent

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:50 | 1744018 CAMDEN BEER609
CAMDEN BEER609's picture

MS has another 500 Billion on debt off the balance sheet.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 22:58 | 1744032 paul_Liu
paul_Liu's picture

Tyler, you are the expert.

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:04 | 1744052 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Accounting games at banks, financial engineering to save Europe, incessant rumors and constant denials propping everything up, what else does one need to compare 2008?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:45 | 1744142 geekgrrl
geekgrrl's picture

Gold and silver crushed?

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 23:51 | 1744159 The Big Ching-aso
The Big Ching-aso's picture

The Pow of the Dow never ceases to amaze.   That and the irrational exuberance of RobotTrader.

Viva Las Vegas.


Thu, 10/06/2011 - 00:02 | 1744176 rockraider3
rockraider3's picture

I won't say where I work, but let's just say the our parent company invested around $9 billion in Morgan Stanley in October 2008. So I'm on this call on Tuedsay and one of the guys who works on the desk of the securities arm of said parent company in the Americas starts giving everyone the update on the markets.  Greek debt, greek debt, risk off, yada yada... Then as an aside to wrap up his spiel... "oh, and Morgan Stanley has seen some pressure due to speculation on the Greek debt they are holding."  I'm sitting there looking around the conference room wondering if anyone cares or even has any clue how important this last comment is (or even noted that he should have said French debt, not Greek).... nothing.  Pure zombies. 

So I'm sorry to report that three years after the market collapse, rooms full of bankers still are glossy eyed and have no idea what the hell is going on, even when pertinent topics are discussed.  And those of us who ask questions are dismissed and buried. 

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 00:10 | 1744194 Forgiven
Forgiven's picture

That's because there were no hookers and coke in the room to get their blood pressure up.  How can you expect these overworked knights of modern capitalism to function without their Red Bull, Blow, and hump?!

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 03:34 | 1744470 Cynical Sidney
Cynical Sidney's picture

rooms full of bankers have but one question

how big is the new greek bailout?

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 00:07 | 1744187 Forgiven
Forgiven's picture

I must be reading too many Williambanzai7 contributions...for a moment I thought the headline for this piece read:  "Is Morgan Stanley's Big Ass her Debt."  Then I wondered who is this chick? And why would anyone give a crap about how big her ass was?   And why would they care whether or not she sells it out to the highest paying John.  Now that I have my reading glasses on, I can see that I was wrong and it's late.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 02:05 | 1744397 Outlaw Of The W...
Outlaw Of The Wasteland's picture

virgil sollozzo is back with his pre disseminated 3:25pm counter trend tape bombs?

They must have re opened his tab at Elaine's jewish shithole.

This is confirmation that we will crash.


Thu, 10/06/2011 - 02:00 | 1744400 Fips_OnTheSpot
Fips_OnTheSpot's picture

Wait a minute.. they have a "bad left pocket" and a "good right pocket" and they just shuffle from "bad" to "good" and suddenly all is well? If that's the bottom line, that's plain hilarious.

I'll need some popcorn and scotch when they find out, that the "right pocket" has a hole.

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 08:42 | 1744864 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Dunno about Ms's biggest asset.

What I do know is that  MS's BIGGEST ASS is John Mack.


Fri, 10/07/2011 - 18:32 | 1751353 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

I nknow this thread is old.  Seems like the FVO is one of the more asinine accounting changes.  If they actually bought back the debt, it would make sense, but to mark on the possibility of selling it is like taking random revenue credit, because you could possibly sell more if you wanted

Wed, 10/12/2011 - 10:16 | 1765500 karmete
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