Martin Shkreli, "America's Most Hated", "Price Gouging" Biotech Mogul Arrested For Securities Fraud, Released On $5 MM BondSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/17/2015 22:20 -0400
"I’ll show up with $2 million bail money no fucking problem.”
The "long dollar" trade may be the most crowded ever but that doesn't mean there aren't disagreements where the greenback goes from here, especially after the Fed's historic first rate hike.
In a supreme twist of irony, Bear Stearns is back - maybe not the firm itself - but the people who were in charge of its distressed and junk bond trading group, and just like the summer of 2007, it is an ex "Bear"-run hedge fund that was the first to gate, just as the credit cycle is turning and the default cycle has begun, as we explained last week, just one day before everyone's attention finally focused on junk debt.
Government interference by both central banks and regulators (the latter are desperately fighting the “last crisis”, bolting the barn door long after the horse has escaped, thereby putting into place the preconditions for the next crisis) has created an ever more fragile situation in both the global economy and the financial markets. As the below charts and data show, price distortions and dislocations have been moving from one market segment to the next and they keep growing, which indicates to us that there is considerable danger that a really big dislocation will eventually happen.
From "Thundering Herd" to thundering-mad. Having recently laid off 100s of staff and cut compensation plans, AdvisorHub reports that Mother Merrill may be canceling Christmas for its roughly 14,500 brokers - "we’re hearing that in many regions the Bank of America-owned brokerage firm has sent out word that there will be no Merrill-financed holiday parties this year." Such Grinch-like moves have little precedent, and brokers in some areas have retaliated.
"It is our humble belief that the consensus at the Fed does not fully understand the magnitude of the problems in corporate credit markets and the unintended consequences of their policy actions."
CEOs, Wall Street are furiously making hay while the storm moves in.
When buy the dip doesn't work. "Most distressed situations have not worked out in 2015," exclaims one distressed hedge fund manager facing significant losses on the year, "It wasn’t just energy. It was anything with loads of leveraged debt on it." As Bloomberg reports, distressed hedge funds dropped 5% in 2015 through October, putting them on pace for their worst year since 2008, when they lost 25%... and November isn’t looking like it will be much better.
There are seemingly always “good reasons” why troubles in a sector of the credit markets are supposed to be ignored – or so people are telling us, every single time. Some still recall how the developing problems in the sub-prime sector of the mortgage credit market were greeted by officials and countless market observers in the beginning in 2007. Meanwhile, the foundation of the economy continues to look rotten (the newest round of Fed surveys has begun with another bomb and other manufacturing-related data continue to disappoint as well). This isn’t going to end well, if history is any guide.
For the latest bit of evidence that global trade is indeed in free fall, look no further than the container terminals at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Calif. and around New York harbor which handle more than 50% of seaborne freight coming into the US. As it turns out, “peak” season turned out to be anything but.
Washington’s capacity to foster crony capitalist larceny and corruption never ceases to amaze. But as we recently noted, Wall Street’s shameless thievery from US taxpayers is about to get a whole new definition.
The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.
Call it an example of an abbreviated public lifecycle. After IPOing at $22.50 just last March and then promptly tumbling, Candy Crush maker King Digital was stuck in no man's land: demand for its products was promptly waning and the organic growth its underwriters had promised was nowhere to be found. The fundamentally savvy hedge funds sniffed this out and promptly jumped on board what seemed like a royal flush slam dunk to zero. And then, overnight, out of nowhere Activision decided to crush the Candy Crush shorts, who had built up a short stake amounting to 25% of the float, when it announced it would acquire the company for $5.9 billion or $18/share, a 16% premium to the previous day closing price... and also a 20% discount to the IPO price.
The Federal Reserve was supposed to serve the nation, however as even Bloomberg observes today, ended up "steamrolling" Main Street. One reason why: directors such as this one. Presenting former Morgan Stanley CEO, James Gorman, whose former employer got a $107 billion loan from the Federal Reserve to avoid implosion.