After we read earlier that according to CRE experts TREPP, CMBS delinquencies have hit an all time record, we were confident that somehow Wall Street would do everything in its power to offload as much toxic crap from its books (and if inventory was missing, it would do its darnedest to create some) as possible, and start selling the most worthless piece of paper imaginable (see Howard Davidowitz). Sure enough, not much searching confirmed just that: per Bloomberg "Deutsche Bank AG, UBS AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are preparing the year’s first bond sales tied to commercial property loans, according to people familiar with the transactions. Deutsche Bank and UBS are teaming up to issue as much as $2.5 billion in commercial mortgage-backed securities linked to loans on office buildings, shopping malls and hotels in what would be the largest offering of its kind since the market froze in June 2008, according to a person familiar with the deal. JPMorgan plans to sell $1.5 billion in similar debt, a person familiar with that sale said." And investors, giddy with new costless capital and generous to waste 'other taxpayers' money' will line up in droves and gobble it up (many on margin), looking for a quick flip. Cue in the summer of 2007.
This Mornings News Flow Is Essentially A "Didn't Reggie Tell Us This In Full Detail Up To Two Years Ago" Parade As Indebted Europe Continues To Rip At The Seams!Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 01/05/2011 09:08 -0500
Don't say I didn't tell 'ya so!
In a previous article ("Something's Happening") I noted positive trends emerging. I'm still not saying we are on the road to recovery (actually we are on the road to stagflation), but things are getting warmer. "Something" is still happening. Pay attention.
One can not blame Mort Zuckerman for being bullish on housing (or at least some segments thereof): after all the outspoken Obama critic just splurged $930 million on the John Hancock building (which recently went into foreclosure at a $660 million valuation, but Mort has a story about how improvements in the parking lot and somesuch are worth the 50% hike in price). Yet what the Boston Properties chairman likes in commercial real estate (and for a contrarian and somewhat more lucid view feel free to peruse comparable thoughts by Howard Davidowitz) he loathes in residential real estate, which would be bad news for Bank of America if the bank's real name wasn't Bank of Banana Republic. In an interview with CNBC's finest, the USNews editor said that the record shadow inventory is "what’s going to put downward pressure on residential prices. And in my judgment, that’s going to continue forat’s going to continue for several years. We’ve seen home prices go down now for four months in a row, according to the Case-Shiller Index , by 1.3 percent in the last month. So it’s an accelerating downtrend in those prices. This is on top of three to four years of declines.” Oddly enough, no mention of the fact previously discussed by Davidowitz that "we have 21 square feet of selling space for every man woman and child in this country" but then again that may not be too bullish for CRE. And at the end of the day everyone has an agenda.
Goldman Creates a Facebook Hedge Fund for HNW Clients Historically Ripped Off By Such Vehicles, Spits In Face Of SEC...Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 01/03/2011 08:29 -0500
As of right now, there are not a lot of places to go for the skinny on things such as this Facebook investment (or BPSV, not special purpose vehicle but "Bonus Pool Support Vehicle"), at least in my not so humble opinion.
Davidowitz's Rant On Overt Optimism In The Retail Space And Malls Is Not Only On Point, But Has Been Preached At BoomBustBlog For 3 Years & CountingSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 12/31/2010 10:05 -0500
When one spits the truth, there is really nothing to do but sit back and listen. Happy New Years to one and all...
- Commodities Beat Stocks, Bonds, Dollar in 2010 (Bloomberg) - translation: anything that can't be diluted does and will do better than things that can be diluted
- How a mortgage clearinghouse became a villain in the foreclosure mess (WaPo)
- Euro Imbalances Mean 80% Risk Bloc Will See Structural Overhaul, CEBR Says (BusinessWeek)
- Estonia Prepares to Join the Euro Zone (WSJ)
- Simon Johnson: Fresh Crises Loom in Europe and the U.S. (NYT)
- That pesky CRE issue still refuses to go away: Commercial property loans pose new threat (FT)
- Krugman on The New Voodoo and hypocrites (NYT)
- Mises Institute on the Hypocrisy of Krugman (Mises)
- Venezuela to Devalue its "Strong Bolivar" Currency (WSJ)
Today's must see TV comes from the following interview of Pimm Fox on the consumer and the economy with retail expert Howard Davidowitz, who in 10 minutes provides more quality content and logical thought than we have seen from CNBC guests in probably all of 2010 (except of course for that one time when Erin Burnett kicked out Mike Pento, but that's a different story). Where does one start? Probably at the end: "I am not surprised by the strength of retail sales, because i knew that 30% of consumers are responsible for retail sales, and these 30% did much better because of the performance of capital markets. I don't think it is indicative of anything going forward. I don't think the economy is going to get any better. If you look at our fiscal and monetary policy, we went two trillion in the hole last year. Two trillion... to produce this... and unemployment went up to 9.8%! We've spent two trillion we're printing money we're going bananas. Our balance sheet, we've got $2.6 trillion on there, and what;s on there government securities, and MBS." And here is the kicker for the world's biggest hedge fund, which at least one person besides Zero Hedge appears to get: "If interest rates go up a point Bernanke's bankrupt. Everything he's bought is underwater. All the MBS are underwater, the whole country is underwater." Does anyone see the issue now with why rising interest rates, aside from predicting a "recovery", may also, courtesy of its now $2 billion DV01, "predict" the insolvency of the Federal Reserve?
Banks, especially the ones which lend to most US businesses were devastated by the credit bomb. Their recovery is crucial for economic recovery. Are they thawing or freezing? What is the current status of credit in America?
In my article "Something Is Happening" I noted a glimmer of positive economic data. I was cautious to not call it a "recovery" yet because there isn't a clear trend. I still feel that way. The Fed and the federal government may yet blow up a recovery. But ... I can't ignore positive signs. I read the same data as other free market oriented blogs out there, I am just about the only one seeing this. "Believe what your eyes see, not what you want to believe."
After a nice Thanksgiving spectacle of turkey, pumpkin pie, relatives, cool days of bright California sunshine, and college football, it's time to turn back to the serious business of the economy. Here is a review of the latest data. This is stuff you should know.
The biggest idiots in the world come out swinging:
- U.S. regional bank Regions Financial Corp.'s financial performance in recent quarters has lagged our expectations. Furthermore, we think the company's financial flexibility has been somewhat reduced.
- We lowered our counterparty credit ratings on Regions and its primary bank subsidiary, Regions Bank. The outlooks on their long-term ratings remain negative.
- We expect net losses to persist at Regions in the near term, largely due to unfavorable loan and geographic concentrations. We think net losses could continue to modestly pressure capital ratios in the near term.
Bernanke is like the Sorcerer's Apprentice: Given the magic hat - he commands his broom army to fetch buckets of dollars to inflate the economy the easy way but his lazy solution quickly turns into disaster as the waters start rising and he finds he has no way to stem the rising tide
Something is happening. I am not saying it is a trend, but the data are suggesting some improvement in the economy. This is the first time I have said this in two years. It may just be a temporary phenomenon since there are so many headwinds against a recovery. Perhaps it is just that things aren't getting worse. But the data are important and should not be ignored.
Guest Post: Fraud and Complicity Are Now the Lifeblood of the Status Quo (Banality of Financial Evil, Part 2)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/12/2010 10:14 -0500
Though fraud and complicity are presented in the mainstream media as isolated conspiracies outside the status quo, the truth is that the status quo is now entirely dependent on fraud and complicity for its very survival. Every level of the status quo would immediately implode were fraud and complicity suddenly withdrawn from the system. How is this true? let me count the ways.