CDS

CDS

Financial CDS Spreads Explode

The bloodbath in fin CDS is even worse than what is going on in equities. Bank of America is currently at the widest it has been in 2010.The latest rack is provided below, and the LTM 5 year Sr CDS spread is charted below. Yet the biggest bloodbath continues to take place in woefully underreserved HR Block, which is certainly not too big to fail, and which was about 30 bps wider on the day, now at 720/691. On the chart below, HRB's spread is on the right axis. Will the little tax preparer that almost could be the first casulaty that sets off the TARP 2 starter pistol?

Companies Petition Obama For Tax Amnesty To Repatriate Cash, As Myth Of "Cash On Sidelines" Crumbles

About a month ago, when discussing the debunking, for the latest time, the biggest lie in modern history, namely the massive exaggeration about the corporate cash on the sidelines, we noted: "Our advice to all those who like blind lemmings follow the advice and chase the "cash hoard" - think, and do your homework first. If indeed over a third of the record cash holdings are foreign, they are as good as useless to shareholders." The reason for this: a major portion of the billion or so dollars in cash is held abroad and "repatriating this cash to the good old USA would cost companies hundreds
of billions in US corporate taxes. That's right: even though companies
are taxed abroad, the issue of double taxation is resolved by
subtracting foreign taxes paid from the US tax liability. However,
because foreign corporate taxes are typically lower there is an adverse
tax consequence associated with remittance to the parent company
.
In other words, of the $1.2 or however many trillions in total
corporate cash on balance sheets, a good 30% chunk of this belongs to
Uncle Sam if these companies wish to use it for domestic IRR purposes.
And yes, just so there is no confusion: using foreign cash to pay dividends or share repurchases is considered repatriation from the perspective of US tax regulations." And now that the cat is out of the bag that the huge cash hoard is really about 30% less, here come these very same multinationals begging Obama for tax amnesty so they can actually bring the cash home and, gasp, use it. Too bad this request will never fly, and why even CNBC may soon (with a few cartoons), understand just how stupid they sound in pumping the hollow cash on the sidelines argument day in and day out.

Bank of America Stopped Out At Loss Limit In Bank Risk Pair Trade

And another banks loses its clients a boatload as Bank of America is forced to close out its long bank rish vs IG trade after the stop loss gets hit. With bank CDS surging the negative convexity is sure to send spreads in the sector even wider, rivaling only the stupidity exhibited by Apple which is now over $310 and has entered its parabolic move, as everyone is now in the stock. At this point look no further than the dot com crash to see how the move in the Nasdaq, better known as Apple, will end, and why deep OTM puts will soon rule the day. Back to BofA, Jeffrey Rosenberg instituted a $20MM short risk protection in IG15 last night. Hopefully that isn't stopped out imminently, on nothing more than intraday OpEx-POMO Vol.

CDS Rout In Financials Continues, As Equities Finally Smell The Foreclosed Coffee

First thing yesterday, when we first highlighted that CDS in mortgage names were blowing out, even as the moronic market was all giddy on JPM's earnings beat which was really a miss, we warned "be careful trading financial stocks: JPM's earnings were actually very bad, and so far only credit has figured it out. Equities, being traded now exclusively by Fed-frontrunning retards and virus-infested robots, are a little slow." Prophetically, the equity slowness has finally caught up with reality, and BofA and Wells stocks are tumbling. Alas, fins have much more to drop, especially if and when the RMBS and CMBS markets are gutted (incidentally that CMBX III-IV AJ is looking like a screaming short right here, right now). Below is that latest CDS fin rerack - it is a bloodbath.

Meet The Foreclosure "Experts": Hair Stylists, Walmart Floor Workers And Assembly Line Workers, All Hired To "Defraud Homeowners"

This is just surreal: the Associated Press has put together a must read profile of all the people who the mortgage servicing industry has been scrambling to get together since 2007. The outcome, and stereotypes, are stunning: "In an effort to rush through thousands of home foreclosures since 2007,
financial institutions and their mortgage servicing departments hired
hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and people who had worked on
assembly lines and installed them in "foreclosure expert" jobs with no
formal training
, a Florida lawyer says." And it gets even scarier - these "experts" pretty much all confirm they participated in fraud, either willingly or unwillingly: "In depositions released Tuesday, many of those workers testified that
they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn't define the word
"affidavit." Others didn't know what a complaint was, or even what was
meant by personal property. Most troubling, several said they knew they
were lying when they signed the foreclosure affidavits and that they
agreed with the defense lawyers' accusations about document fraud
." And here is punchline: " In what is perhaps a
sign of things to come, a Simi Valley, Calif., couple and their nine
children broke into their foreclosed home over the weekend and moved
back in, according to television station KABC of Simi Valley.
The family was evicted
from their Spanish-style two-story in July. The home has been sold, and
the new owner was due to move in soon."
And this is a problem that will go away in a few months?

The Credit/Equity Disconnect Is Now Complete: All Financial CDS Are Wider

No one needs to look at stocks to know how JPM, and the other TBTFs are doing. After all they are now firmly in the clutches of the HFT/Citadel/FRBNY pump machine. Yet a glance elsewhere confirms that all correlations between stocks and credit are terminally broken. To wit, note the following CDS spreads as of moments ago:

  • JPM 85/88 (+4)
  • MER 184/189 (+6)
  • MS 170/175 (+5)
  • WFC 105/110 (+6)

Be careful trading financial stocks: JPM's earnings were actually very bad, and so far only credit has figured it out. Equities, being traded now exclusively by Fed-frontrunning retards and virus-infested robots, are a little slow.

How Mispriced Equity vs CDS Tail Risk Allowed A 158% Annualized Return In BP

One look at the huge crowd at today's fantastic SocGen Tail Risk Hedging conference should confirm all fears that the bulk of speculative investors couldn't care less about riding the levered beta market, and instead everyone is focused precisely on the conference topic: how to isolate and hedge for tail risk (in addition to idiosyncratic, market, correlation and macro). While we will share quite a few of the thoughts by such prominent thinkers as Dylan Grice and Stephen Antczak, we wanted to highlight one trade which caught our attention: namely the mispricing of tail risk as represented by equity and credit derivatives in BP at the time when the company's bankruptcy seemed like a sure thing. Due to a major skew resulting from a huge imbalance in implied vol, a perfectly hedged trade which saw the selling of equity vol through near terms puts, coupled with the purchase of default protection via 6 month CDS, would have yielded a 158% annualized return at trade unwind 3 months later. In other words, which it is difficult to generalize, it appears that in times of dramatic risk, equity derivatives tend to overprice fat tail risk, while default protection is underpriced. Such capital structure arbitrage trades will become increasingly more profitable as the Fed-created drift between equity and credit accelerates, and as vol pricing allows phenomenal arbitrage opportunities.

On Jumping Sharks With Barry Ritholtz

Barry Ritholtz is once again in Zero Hedge-marketing mode, which is probably not too surprising: this marks only the second time in under a week in which Mr. Ritholtz has exhibited a fascination with Zero Hedge, previously demonstrating a borderline obsession by actually scouring through tweet mentions of our humble blog. And humble we are - we have paid Barry exactly zero for this ongoing free advertising fest. That said, we are confident Barry will be happy with us reposting his entire post for our readers because he does bring up some valid questions, to which we provide our own brief perspective.

John Paulson Lecture: "Bonds Are Wrong, Stocks Are Right"

John Paulson is now 'all in' that for the first time in history bonds are wrong and stocks are right... We'll take the other side of that bet. Of course, this also means that David Tepper is across the table as well. Oh well, we do like to live dangerously. Full notes from Paulson's lecture at the University Club, to a standing audience. Then again, if anyone suspected that JP was actually on the same side of the bet as us, it wouldn't really work now, would it...

Guest Post: The Shoeshine Boy

Why the price of (paper) gold may well plummet, as physical gold prepares to approach its true value in the $50K+ range (if at all quantifiable using current currency), as explained using e-mails, Nash Equilibria, condoms, and other parables, by FOFOA

Reggie Middleton's picture

You know times are bad in the housing industry when home builders hang up the hard hat and take to running leveraged hedge funds. Hell, they don't even have to be any good at it, because they are using 0%, non-recourse loans with very little of their own capital (bubble style leverage), thanks to YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer bitching about unemployment and higher taxes. I hope this doesn't piss anybody off,,, again!

Why Massive Offshore Cash Parking Means Companies Have Access To Only A Fraction Of The Record Cash Stash

Yesterday's Microsoft issuance of $4.75 billion in new debt, of which the 3 Year maturity portion priced at the lowest yield ever for a corporate bond of 0.875%, came at the pristine, and much discredited AAA rating. Yet what this little experiment revealed, in addition to confirming that the corporate bond bubble has never been greater, is that the cash on the sidelines argument used by every single permabull on CNBC is sorely lacking in some factual details. Namely, that a dollar at home is worth more than a dollar abroad, as BofA's Hans Mikkelsen puts it succinctly. Let's back up for a second: the primary reason why investors are funneling their capital in droves in tech and other companies that have key foreign operations is precisely due to the fact that while their domestic subsidiaries may be expiring, it is the foreign subs that are generating the bulk of the revenue, profit and thus, cash. Yet what very few have considered, is that repatriating his cash to the good old USA would cost companies hundreds of billions in US corporate taxes. That's right: even though companies are taxed abroad, the issue of double taxation is resolved by subtracting foreign taxes paid from the US tax liability. However, because foreign corporate taxes are typically lower there is an adverse tax consequence associated with remittance to the parent company. In other words, of the $1.2 or however many trillions in total corporate cash on balance sheets, a good 30% chunk of this belongs to Uncle Sam if these companies wish to use it for domestic IRR purposes. And yes, just so there is no confusion: using foreign cash to pay dividends or share repurchases is considered repatriation from the perspective of US tax regulations. Enter Microsoft: most of its cash resides abroad and is essentially useless for dividend purposes, unless the company wishes to see its net cash position cut substantially upon repatriation. Yet with everyone now clamoring for increased dividends and stock buybacks, the company is forced to access domestic capital markets and use that money for shareholder friendly activities. This is a capital mismatch fiasco just waiting to happen. The only possible winner out of this - Uncle Sam, who may soon order foreign cash to be repatriated over corporate pleas otherwise.