Warren Buffett

Buffett Exits Entire Credit Default Swap Exposure, As Citi's Appetite For Derivative Destruction Surges

It was considered one of the bigger paradoxes for years. Back in 2003, Warren Buffett famously dubbed derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction” and yet over the next several years went ahead and entered a number of the contracts, including both equities and credit, ostensibly by selling CDS to collect up monthly premiums. However, at least when it comes to CDS, after several years of Berkshire trimming its credit derivative exposure, it is now completely out. Meanwhile, Citi is loading up on any CDS it can find...

The Warren Buffett Economy: How Central-Bank-Enabled Financialization Divided America

Needless to say, the above outlandish graph does not capture capitalism at work. Nor did the speculators who surfed upon this $45 trillion bubble harvest their monumental windfalls owing to investment genius. Instead, it is the perverted fruit of Bubble Finance, and there is no better illustration of this bubble surfer syndrome than the sainted Warren Buffett.

Weekend Reading: The Global Dichotomy

If the economy is growing, and there is really “no recession in sight,” then why is there such a panic by the BOJ, BOE and ECB to expand their accommodative programs? Why isn’t the Fed raising their benchmark rates? Why are earnings deteriorating across sectors on an unadjusted basis?

Frontrunning: August 2

  • European shares hit two-week lows, yen rises as Japan backs stimulus (Reuters)
  • Australia Rejoins Global Disinflation Fight With Record Low Rate (BBG)
  • Japan Cabinet Approves $274 Billion Stimulus Package (WSJ)
  • Yen Surges to Three-Week High as Japan Stimulus Underwhelms (BBG)
  • Warren Buffett Takes On Donald Trump at Hillary Clinton Rally in Nebraska (WSJ)

The Financial System Is Breaking Down At An Unimaginable Pace

Now it’s $13 trillion... the total sum of negative-yielding debt in the world has increased in the last sixteen days alone by an amount that’s larger than the entire GDP of Russia. And just like the build-up to the 2008 subprime crisis, investors are snapping up today’s subprime bonds with frightening enthusiasm. So this trend will continue to grow for now, until, just like in 2008, the bubble bursts in cataclysmic fashion.

Iconic Hedge Fund Sequoia Explains Why It Liquidated Its Entire Valeant Stake

"Our new leadership elected to sell our position in Valeant Pharmaceuticals, exiting completely by mid-June. Valeant was our largest position to start the year and its 80% decline through June 30 badly penalized our results. For the first half, Sequoia generated a negative 13.2% return vs. a positive 3.8% return for the S&P 500 Index."

The Chinese Will Need Another Bailout

Here we go again. China is primed for more bailouts as their corporations and State Owned Enterprises (SOE) continue burning through billions of yuan.

China To Use Pension Funds As $300 Billion "Plunge Protection Team"

The country’s local retirement savings managers, which manage about $300 billion, are handing over some of their cash to the National Council for Social Security Fund, which will oversee their investments in securities including equities. Why the shift? Simple: to help stabilize markets during the next rout. During last year’s tumble, policy makers armed state-run investing company China Securities Finance Corp. with more than $480 billion to try and limit declines. Now it's the pensions' turn.

Morgan Stanley Lists The Ten Excuses Hedge Funds Give For Bad Performance

The alpha from the HFRI long-short index was close to 14% per annum in the early 1990s, and has been slightly below zero for the past few years. Why is this? We don’t claim to have some systematic rank ordering of reasons for the decay in performance, but here are ten thoughts.

Why The Next Decade Will Foil Financial Plans

"This time is 'not different'. The only difference will be what triggers the next valuation reversion when it occurs. If the last two bear markets haven’t taught you this by now, I am not sure what will. Maybe the third time will be the 'charm'."

Nothing Lasts Forever

As the man who perhaps best rode the coat-tails of an ever-increasing wave of American credit expansion exceptionalism (only to come undone in recent times as that game ends), it is no surprise that Warren Buffett explained in February that "for 240 years it’s been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start." We don't mean to rain on his parade too much, but the following charts suggest "nothing lasts forever" and time is ticking...