Reggie's Blog & Proprietary Research

Reggie's Blog & Proprietary Research (1277)

Thursday, 21 January 2010 18:00

Follow Up to the China Short Thesis Debate

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I have included ETFs that have exposure to the industries discussed in the post "Some Light Shown on My Developing China Thesis". The list of ETFs can be found here: pdf  Chinese ETFs with Exposure to Real Estate, Banks, Insurance and Export Industrials 2010-01-22 02:27:03 377.96 Kb.

The subscriber download to the aforementioned post is pdf "A Note On Potential Short Opportunity Opinions in China 2010-01-21 01:13:06 475.18 Kb " which is available to retail and pro Subscribers as a 6 page PDF document, Pro subscribers are invited to the discussion/debate between myself and my analysts on the merits of the China short as it compares to the up and coming European Sovereign Crisis short opportunities I will be publishing very soon (a preview is available here: Deflation, Inflation or Stagflation - You Be the Judge! - please excuse the fact that I compressed several European nations into EU charts).

I want it to be known that we are still formulating the empirical thesis behind the short, but I have decided to keep all subscribers abreast of the deliberations in real time, as well as offering the tools that I would use to take action if I deemed it prudent.

I have been advocating this limitation for some time.

For those that listen to CNBC pundits knocking the separation of deposit taking entities from trading risk assuming entities, here are some common sense rebuttals.

This proposal would not have stopped the AIG failure

No, it would not have. It would have prevented deposit taking institutions such as Citibank and JP Morgan from trading on a speculative basis with AIG though. Theoretically, it would have allowed those that would have got jerked on the AIG to have sunk or swam on their own accord. We never had to stop AIG, we had to stop the repercussions of what an AIG would have caused.

I was not going to bother to comment further, but after hearing pundit after pundit attack Obama for the bank levy and Glass Steagal 'lite', after banks allegedly paid their dues... I just couldn't take it anymore.


Yes! Obama has made a lot of policy errors in dealing with the banks. Yes! I believe he has not solved the problems, but has chased the symptoms. The separation of prop trading from deposit banking IS the RIGHT thing to do. In addition, the banks have not come anywhere NEAR repaying their debt to the government. Not even close.

Yes, some of the banks repaid TARP, with interest and warrants. Okay. The investment big banks (that were still in existence) were offered expedited financial holding company (bank) charters. That is why they didn't fail, at least in part.

So, running down the list, the banks paid back TARP. That's a +, but....

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 18:00

The Administration Looks Like It Is Getting Real

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Finally, measures that are actually attacking the root of the problem in lieu of chasing after the consequences.

CNBC: Obama to Take Tougher Line on Wall Street Big Banks

President Barack Obama, reeling from an election defeat in the U.S. Senate, will propose stricter limits on financial risk-taking on Thursday in a move that may recall Depression-era curbs on banks.

 "The proposal will include size and complexity limits specifically on proprietary trading and the White House will work closely with the House and Senate to work this into legislation," the official said.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010 18:00

Some Light Shown on My Developing China Thesis

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First, in today's news.
Yen Weakens Against Higher-Yielding Currencies After China Growth Quickens

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The yen declined after a Chinese report showed economic growth accelerated to the fastest pace since 2007, damping demand for Japan’s currency as a refuge.

The yen weakened against all of its 16 most-active counterparts on speculation the nation’s central bank will keep interest rates low as the economy struggles to gain momentum. The euro was near a five-month low against the dollar on concern Greece will default on its national debt as credit-default swaps on the country’s five-year sovereign bonds climbed to a record.

Monday, 18 January 2010 18:00

Nobody Sees This as a Bubble?

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 From Bloomberg: Mortgage-Bond Leverage Reaches 10-to-1, Markets Heal

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Wall Street firms are loosening terms of their lending to mortgage-bond investors as markets heal, an RBS Securities Inc. executive said.

Repurchase agreement, or repo, lending against the debt has expanded so much since freezing in late 2008 that some banks now offer as much as 10-to-1 leverage and terms as long as one year on certain securities backed by prime jumbo-home loans, said Scott Eichel, the Royal Bank of Scotland unit’s global co-head of asset- and mortgage-backed securities.

Monday, 18 January 2010 18:00

It's HELOC Deja Vu,All Over Again

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 A little more than a year and a half ago, I penned "A little more on HELOCs, 2nd lien loans and rose colored glasses",:

I syndicate my work across various sites on the web and occasionally go through the comments to see what people think. I get viewers of all types, from first time investors and the curious to multi-billion dollar portfolio managers and directors of analytical departments of the bulge brackets. It is the guy in the middle, the arm chair investor that seems to throw some of the wierdest comments, though. One of which was, "banks are more complicated than HELOC exposure and LTVs and it will take more than that to determine a bank short". Well, that comment is partially true. Today's banks are much  more complex than LTVs and 2nd liens, but when these risky products on the downturn are multiples of your tangible capital, it really doesn't take more than that to start causing some severe solvency issues. You can have a trillion dollars in assets, but if you have $20 billion in equity with $100 billion in investments that will take a 50% loss, you are underwater by $30 billion. You can talk about these banks using terms such as "complicated", "complex", "fancy" and all of the other high falutin' adjectives that you can think of, but at the end of the day, if you lose more than you own you are insolvent. Now, that's a simple concept and it works quite well for my investment pursuits. This is coming from a guy who use to design offshore, option embedded structured products to fund illiquid private sector liabilities for things such retiree health care risks. Having some experience in the structured product arena, being an entrepreneur, and simply having to balance the family budget, I have come to learn - without a doubt - that complicated usually means less valuable. Either that, or it means an opportunity to charge the client more through lack of transparency in the pricing and profit structure.

Following the geographic default graph for HELOCs reproduced from the last posting, you see the two states that have been in the news the most lately have big spikes in my pretty little graph.

As you recall, my take on the deflation vs inflation debate is much less crystal ball-ish than many other pundits on the web. I never was very much into fortune telling or forecasting the future. From what I observed and researched, if I had to make a call that call would be stagflation.

On that note, here is an interesting note from one of my site's subscribers on how China is exporting to what is amounting to stagflation to the United States, now!

 My reveiw and opinion of JP Morgan's Q4 2009 is ready for download JPM 4Q09 review JPM 4Q09 review 2010-01-19 01:48:27 1.16 Mb. I have made it available to all readers, but I sugguest that paying subscribers follow the appropriate links to see how appropo the assumptions regarding revenue and loss trends were in the forensic analysis. I have excerpted some of the review below:

In "Goldman Seems to Trust the Chinese Economic Reporting a Tad Bit More Than I Do!", "It Doesn't Take a Genius to Figure Out How This Will End" and "He Who Bloweth the Bubble With Wet Lips Should Stand Back Lest Spittle and Saliva Spray Upon Ye Face" I not only declared my opinion that China appears to be enthralled in a massive bubble, but Chinese economic reporting cannot be trusted. There have been a few comments stating that the "new and improved China is not the China of 1989 Tiananmen Square".

It appears that the recent flap with Google security and the censoring of searches sheds light on this debate.