Chanos Shorting Majors, Ford; Discusses Ways To Express Chinese Bearishness

Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker interviews Jim Chanos, in which the cynic notes that while not short BP, he has been short other majors (and likely making a decent profit doing so), for the very simple reason, which as we have been pointing out for almost a year now, namely that ongoing underinvestment in business, read declining maintenance CapEx and zero growth CapEx, will erode all revenue growth (and even stability). "If you look at their cash-flow statements relative to their income statements, you will see companies that haven’t replaced reserves in years, and haven’t seen any increase in revenues in years. They’re borrowing their dividend. They’re in effect liquidating." As we pointed out previously, one of the drawbacks of soaring cash levels is plunging CapEx: this is happening across all companies in the S&P, not just exploration, although the effect will be drastically magnified in this space, and we completely agree with Chanos that his short is spot on. Chanos also discloses his additional shorting of Ford: "It’s going to be very interesting to see how it is that the union, which controls the employees -- and I contend these entities are still run for their employees and retirees more than the shareholders -- are going to look in an environment going forward, where the UAW is a major equity holder in some of the other entities. It adds a new dynamic to the twist.” Jim Cramer, if you are reading this, you may reconsider your favorite long. Lastly, as expected, Chanos discusses his China shorts and how he puts those on in a country which is not very shorting friendly, to say the least.

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