Capital One

"There Is A General Softening In The Consumer's Ability To Pay" - Why Credit Card Companies Are Crashing

On the day in which the government reported modestly stronger than expected retail sales for the month of May, signalling a return to strength for spending and the US consumer - the driving force behind 70% of US GDP - a far more ominous statistic was revealed by credit card company Synchrony Financial, which earlier today announced in a regulatory filing that it expects write-off rates to climb 20 to 30 basis points over the next 12 months, and will increase reserves for soured loans beginning this quarter.

Jamie Dimon Warns "Someone Will Get Hurt In Auto Lending" As Citi Sees No Rebound From Abysmal First Quarter

Jamie Dimon said the market for U.S. automobile lending is “a little stressed” and that he foresees higher losses ahead for some competitors. “Someone will get hurt in auto lending,” but not JPMorgan, Dimon said. Meanwhile, CEO Citigroup Mike Corbat indicated that the company's second-quarter net income will be roughly 25% lower than the same period a year earlier, roughly the same as the abysmal first quarter.

The 4 Key Themes From Q4 Conference Calls

  • Theme 1: US economy appears insulated from global weakness
  • Theme 2: Strong domestic consumer demand persists
  • Theme 3: Managements remain devoted to share repurchases
  • Theme 4: Outlook for China is positive despite recent turmoil

Howard Marks Warns "Investor Behavior Has Entered A Zone Of Imprudence"

"Security prices are not low. I wouldn’t say high, but full. So people are thinking cautiously but they’re acting bullish and they’re behaving in a pro-risk fashion. While investor behavior hasn’t sunk to the depths seen just before the crisis, in many ways I feel it has entered the zone of imprudence... The market is not an accommodating machine. It will not go where you want it to go just because you need it to go there."

Frontrunning: August 12

  • China central bank under pressure to weaken yuan further (Reuters)
  • Currency Rout Goes Global as Jen Sees Risk of 50% Loss on China (BBG)
  • Europe Stocks Fall Most in Two Weeks as China Sparks Growth Fear (BBG)
  • German Yields Drop to Record as China Boosts Bonds Around World (BBG)
  • FT to Japan, Economist to Italy: Agnelli Family Raises Stake in Economist as Pearson Exits (BBG)
  • Goldman Sachs to Give Out ‘Secret Sauce’ on Trading (WSJ)
  • Greece's Preliminary Bailout Deal Faces German Turbulence (BBG)

The 50 Most Illiquid Stocks

One of the strategies that has emerged in the post-squeeze normal is cornering the most illiquid stocks, and pushing them up, or down with relative ease due to the lack of liquidity and/or broad participation. But how does one go about quantifying what are the most illiquid stocks: is it the ones that trade the least on any given day (a double edge sword, because exiting a position would be that much more problematic after pushing the prices to any desired level), or is it simply those where individual trades have the highest price impact? One suggested answer is to look at the equities whose current float is a small fraction of their total outstanding stock.

Days Of Crony Capitalist Plunder - The Deplorable Truth About GE Capital

GE’s announcement that its getting out of the finance business should be a reminder of how crony capitalism is corrupting and debilitating the American economy. The ostensible reason the company is unceremoniously dumping its 25-year long build-up of the GE Capital mega-bank is that it doesn’t want to be regulated by Washington as a systematically important financial institution under Dodd-Frank. Oh, and that its core industrial businesses have better prospects. We will see soon enough about its oilfield equipment and wind turbine business, or indeed all of its capital goods oriented businesses in a radically deflationary world drowning in excess capacity. But at least you can say good riddance to GE Capital because it was based on a phony business model that was actually a menace to free market capitalism. Its deplorable raid on the public purse during the Lehman crisis had already demonstrated that in spades.

Frontrunning: March 12

  • As reported here first: The U.S. Has Too Much Oil and Nowhere to Put It (BBG)
  • Dollar Drops From 12-Year High as S&P Futures, Bonds Gain (BBG); Dollar Bulls Retreat From 12-Year High to Euro With Fed in View (BBG)
  • Clinton Private Email Plan Drew Concerns Early On (WSJ)
  • ECB Bond Buying Not Needed With Economy Improving, Weidmann Says (BBG)
  • China Feb new yuan loans well above forecast (Reuters)
  • U.S. probing report Secret Service agents drove car into White House barrier (Reuters)
  • Kerry tells Republicans: you cannot modify Iran-U.S. nuclear deal (Reuters)
  • PBOC Pledges to Press on With Rate Liberalization Amid Slowdown (BBG)
  • China Prepares Mergers for Big State-Owned Enterprises (WSJ)

Frontrunning: February 25

  • Invade Syria already, we know you will: Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 150 Christians (Reuters)
  • Greece Struggles to Get Citizens to Pay Their Taxes (WSJ)
  • Doubts Shadow Deal to Extend Greek Bailout (WSJ)
  • In surprise result, Chicago's Mayor Emanuel faces election run-off (Reuters)
  • Obama vetoes Keystone pipeline bill (Reuters)
  • Another sign of the top: Cushman & Wakefield Going Up for Sale (WSJ)
  • Lure of Wall Street Cash Said to Skew Credit Ratings (BBG) ... and threat of DOJ lawsuits also
  • Oil rises to $59 as Saudis say demand growing (Reuters)