Erik Nielsen must have gotten quite a beat down from the Goldman Greek PR corps. Earlier, as we disclosed, the firm's European strategist, suggested that something nasty this way comes courtesy of an emergency ECB meeting. Later, he backtracked not only on that statement, but also on all the media hoopla over the country with the inverted curve, saying (independent) media is now the functional equivalent of CDS traders - vile, smelly, scheming bastards. Amusingly, this is very much reminiscent to Erik faux pas in early February when he had the temerity to point out (rightfully so) that the Greek GDP deficit is actually 16%, not 12.2% as was widely believed (and with every passing week it is becoming clear that Nielsen was completely right, as 2009 GDP is now at 12.9%, and probably will be 14% in another month, yet post another smack down had to reissue his note saying it was all his fault for stirring the speculative elements). Too bad Erik does his best to report the truth as he sees it, only to receive the prop desk's Greek trading axis after the fact, which today apparently was in direct opposition with his earlier bearish tone.
Goldman's Chief European strategist is starting to sound less and less confident that all shall be well. The same can not be said for his ebullient (and still employed) colleague Jim O'Neill, whose answer to everything is "BRIC." Anyway, here are Erik Nielsen's latest (and increasingly more skeptical) summary views on the Greek bailout. By the way, the IMF shotgun approach to "helping" any and every member country is to peg its currency to something and establishing a currency board. The IMF simply does not know how to do anything else. So how the hell can the IMF operate in the context of a monetary union?
Greek bailout rumors are fine and dandy, even if you can get 10 for the price of a Kindle these days. They originate roughly every 2 hours, "sourced" by the same lowly bureaucrat in Athens, and day after day are proven flat out wrong. And while rumors are fleeting, and Merkel keeps saying that the only reason why Germany does not want to bail out Greece is because Greece has actually not asked for any bail out (Europe may be doomed, but its bureaucrats sure have taken the art of passing the buck to next level), what we do know are the specific funding milestones over the next two months that alas will not accept rumors instead of accrued interest or bond maturities. Goldman's Erik Nielsen provides a wonderful revised roadmap for what will happen in the immediate future, not what may happen in order for Greece to have its cake (European bailout) and eat it too (avoid riots that may soon be put on the escalating warfare conviction buy list). In the meantime, our belief is that every day that concludes with no bond deal announced, will cost Greece another 15 bps in yield for whatever GGB issue the country finally comes to market with. Today it is 7%, tomorrow 7.15%, a couple of years from now: 100%, then 1,000% after that, etc.
Media Property Shake Up As Hollywood Reporter And Other Nielsen Properties To Be Sold To News CommunicationsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/11/2009 12:11 -0400
With content about to become valuable once again, courtesy of Murdoch's initiative to make relevant information scarce (and Google inaccessible), M&A fever is gradually picking up in the media space. The latest development comes from The Wrap which reports that Hollywood Reporter and several other Nielsen Company publications are set to be sold to privately held News Communications (note: not Corp). Other publications on the block include Billboard, Backstage, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek and Editor & Publisher. What is odd is that the entire package, which focuses on the B-to-B crowd, has seen a dramatic drop off in revenue and net income, courtesy of what once was branded a recession, and now is merely yet another Fed inflated omni-asset bubble. As such it is very unlikely that the Nielsen PE sponsors, which acquired the firm in 2006, will make much if any profit on the divestiture.
Investors with $300 million burning a hole in their pocket will be able to pick up the triple hook rated piece of media paper at a 14.5-14.75% yield. We say no way jose.
The expectation is that Nielsen Co. (Caa1/CCC+) will be coming to market momentarily to take advantage of "demand" for junk debt. Apparently the issue will be $300 million maturing in 5 years. We say the OID will be 25 points and we also take the under.