Sunday, 20 December 2009 19:00

Has Moral Hazard Hit the FDIC?

The last standout to the Moral Hazard Brigade has finally joined ranks. The FDIC is considering bailing out the banks!!! From IDD Magazine:

WASHINGTON — As the number of bank failures continues to rise, some industry representatives are making a case that amounts to political heresy: the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. should prop up dying institutions rather than letting them collapse.

Sunday, 20 December 2009 19:00

Has Moral Hazard Hit the FDIC?

The last standout to the Moral Hazard Brigade has finally joined ranks. The FDIC is considering bailing out the banks!!! From IDD Magazine:

WASHINGTON — As the number of bank failures continues to rise, some industry representatives are making a case that amounts to political heresy: the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. should prop up dying institutions rather than letting them collapse.

I really wonder what possesses people to believe these sales pitches, hook, line and sinker... Seriously, what the hell was this guy thinking??? From Bloomberg:

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- For California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, the offer from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. was too good to refuse.

If California were willing to forgo competitive bidding for a $4.5 billion bond offering, the banks promised more orders from individuals and a lower bill to the taxpayers. The firms insisted that by negotiating with them, the state would benefit from its special relationship with the Wall Street troika and wind up with what two underwriters called a salutary “buzz” to boost demand for the debt.

When the October offering failed to sell as planned, California was forced to accept 8 percent less money than it needed and to pay as much as $123 million more in interest than the banks said was sufficient for the market. And the threesome made $12.4 million on the deal, contributing to record bonuses in the securities industry a year after getting a total of $80 billion in a federal bailout.

“Just because someone earns a big wad of money doesn’t mean that they can do what they say they can do,” said Marilyn Cohen, who watched the sale unfold from Los Angeles as president of Envision Capital Management, which oversees $250 million in bonds for individuals. “And shame on the state if they were drinking that Kool-Aid.”

The California sale helped send the municipal-bond market to its worst month in a year. It ended a rally that had pushed borrowing costs for cities and states to a 42-year low, as measured by the Bond Buyer’s index of 20-year general obligation bonds.

 Mr. Lockyer, the next time someone promises you something, get it in writing, reviewed by competent counsel and independent financial advisors. Be sure to have the vendors supply a capital reserve to back up their promises. Most banks probably wouldn't do that, which should tell you something in and of itself.

Then there is "Goldman Sachs Driving Trucker YRC Into Bankruptcy, Teamsters' Hoffa Says":

From Bloomberg, Citigroup Stock Sale Discount Prompts Treasury to Delay Disposal of Stake :

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc., the last of the four largest U.S. banks to seek funds to exit a taxpayer bailout, raised $17 billion by selling stock for a price so low that the U.S. delayed plans to shrink its one-third stake in the lender.

Citigroup sold 5.4 billion shares at $3.15 apiece, less than the $3.25 the government paid when it acquired its stake in September. The New York-based bank said the Treasury won’t sell any of its shares for at least 90 days.

Investors demanded a bigger discount from Citigroup than Bank of America Corp. or Wells Fargo & Co., which together raised more than $31 billion this month to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Wells Fargo, which trumped Citigroup’s bid to buy Wachovia Corp. last year, leapfrogged its rival by completing a $12.25 billion share sale Dec. 15. JPMorgan Chase & Co. repaid $25 billion in June.

“The market cast its vote and they’re low down on the ballot,” said Douglas Ciocca, a managing director at Renaissance Financial Corp. in Leawood, Kansas. “Citigroup needs to show steps to reinstall the quality of the brand.”

With the sale, Citigroup’s common shares outstanding increased to 28.3 billion. That’s up from 22.9 billion as of Sept. 30 and 5 billion at the end of 2007.

“More shares outstanding means less value per share,” said Edward Najarian, an analyst at International Strategy and Investment Group in New York, who has a “hold” rating on the shares. “The whole structure of their deal to pay back TARP wasn’t very good for common shareholders and that is being reflected in the pricing.”

I think one of the most important points are being missed. Most of these banks swore that they didn't need TARP. Despite this, in order to return it, they must go back out to the capital markets. Why do you have to hit the market to return a loan that you said you didn't need, unless you needed it? This obvious lie has went unchallenged.

I really wonder what possesses people to believe these sales pitches, hook, line and sinker... Seriously, what the hell was this guy thinking??? From Bloomberg:

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- For California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, the offer from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. was too good to refuse.

If California were willing to forgo competitive bidding for a $4.5 billion bond offering, the banks promised more orders from individuals and a lower bill to the taxpayers. The firms insisted that by negotiating with them, the state would benefit from its special relationship with the Wall Street troika and wind up with what two underwriters called a salutary “buzz” to boost demand for the debt.

When the October offering failed to sell as planned, California was forced to accept 8 percent less money than it needed and to pay as much as $123 million more in interest than the banks said was sufficient for the market. And the threesome made $12.4 million on the deal, contributing to record bonuses in the securities industry a year after getting a total of $80 billion in a federal bailout.

“Just because someone earns a big wad of money doesn’t mean that they can do what they say they can do,” said Marilyn Cohen, who watched the sale unfold from Los Angeles as president of Envision Capital Management, which oversees $250 million in bonds for individuals. “And shame on the state if they were drinking that Kool-Aid.”

The California sale helped send the municipal-bond market to its worst month in a year. It ended a rally that had pushed borrowing costs for cities and states to a 42-year low, as measured by the Bond Buyer’s index of 20-year general obligation bonds.

 Mr. Lockyer, the next time someone promises you something, get it in writing, reviewed by competent counsel and independent financial advisors. Be sure to have the vendors supply a capital reserve to back up their promises. Most banks probably wouldn't do that, which should tell you something in and of itself.

Then there is "Goldman Sachs Driving Trucker YRC Into Bankruptcy, Teamsters' Hoffa Says":

From Bloomberg, Citigroup Stock Sale Discount Prompts Treasury to Delay Disposal of Stake :

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc., the last of the four largest U.S. banks to seek funds to exit a taxpayer bailout, raised $17 billion by selling stock for a price so low that the U.S. delayed plans to shrink its one-third stake in the lender.

Citigroup sold 5.4 billion shares at $3.15 apiece, less than the $3.25 the government paid when it acquired its stake in September. The New York-based bank said the Treasury won’t sell any of its shares for at least 90 days.

Investors demanded a bigger discount from Citigroup than Bank of America Corp. or Wells Fargo & Co., which together raised more than $31 billion this month to exit the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Wells Fargo, which trumped Citigroup’s bid to buy Wachovia Corp. last year, leapfrogged its rival by completing a $12.25 billion share sale Dec. 15. JPMorgan Chase & Co. repaid $25 billion in June.

“The market cast its vote and they’re low down on the ballot,” said Douglas Ciocca, a managing director at Renaissance Financial Corp. in Leawood, Kansas. “Citigroup needs to show steps to reinstall the quality of the brand.”

With the sale, Citigroup’s common shares outstanding increased to 28.3 billion. That’s up from 22.9 billion as of Sept. 30 and 5 billion at the end of 2007.

“More shares outstanding means less value per share,” said Edward Najarian, an analyst at International Strategy and Investment Group in New York, who has a “hold” rating on the shares. “The whole structure of their deal to pay back TARP wasn’t very good for common shareholders and that is being reflected in the pricing.”

I think one of the most important points are being missed. Most of these banks swore that they didn't need TARP. Despite this, in order to return it, they must go back out to the capital markets. Why do you have to hit the market to return a loan that you said you didn't need, unless you needed it? This obvious lie has went unchallenged.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009 19:00

How Regulatory Capture Turns Doo Doo Deadly

First off, some definitions:

  • The Doo Doo, as in the Doo Doo 32: A  list of 32 banks that I created on
  • Regulatory capture (adopted from Wikipedia): A term used to refer to situations in which a government regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead acts in favor of the commercial or special interests that dominate in the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is an explicit manifestation of government failure in that it not only encourages, but actively promotes the activities of large firms that produce negative externalities. For public choice theorists, regulatory capture occurs because groups or individuals with a high-stakes interest in the outcome of policy or regulatory decisions can be expected to focus their resources and energies in attempting to gain the policy outcomes they prefer, while members of the public, each with only a tiny individual stake in the outcome, will ignore it altogether. Regulatory capture is when this imbalance of focused resources devoted to a particular policy outcome is successful at "capturing" influence with the staff or commission members of the regulatory agency, so that the preferred policy outcomes of the special interest are implemented. The risk of regulatory capture suggests that regulatory agencies should be protected from outside influence as much as possible, or else not created at all. A captured regulatory agency that serves the interests of its invested patrons with the power of the government behind it is often worse than no regulation whatsoever.

About a year and a half ago, after sounding the alarm on the regionals, I placed strategic bearish positions in the sector which paid off extremely well. The only problem is, it really shouldn't have. Why? Because the problems of these banks were visible a mile away. I started warning friends and family as far back as 2004, I announced it on my blog in 2007, and I even offered a free report in early 2008.

Well, here comes another warning. One of the Doo Doo 32 looks to be ready to collapse some time soon. Most investors and pundits won't realize it because a) they don't read BoomBustblog, and b) due to regulatory capture, the bank has been given the OK by its regulators to hide the fact that it is getting its insides gutted out by CDOs and losses on loans and loan derivative products. Alas, I am getting ahead of myself. Let's take a quick glance at regulatory capture, graphically encapsulated, then move on to look at the recipients of the Doo Doo Award as they stand now...

A picture is worth a thousand words...

fasb_mark_to_market_chart.png

Tuesday, 15 December 2009 19:00

How Regulatory Capture Turns Doo Doo Deadly

First off, some definitions:

  • The Doo Doo, as in the Doo Doo 32: A  list of 32 banks that I created on
  • Regulatory capture (adopted from Wikipedia): A term used to refer to situations in which a government regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead acts in favor of the commercial or special interests that dominate in the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is an explicit manifestation of government failure in that it not only encourages, but actively promotes the activities of large firms that produce negative externalities. For public choice theorists, regulatory capture occurs because groups or individuals with a high-stakes interest in the outcome of policy or regulatory decisions can be expected to focus their resources and energies in attempting to gain the policy outcomes they prefer, while members of the public, each with only a tiny individual stake in the outcome, will ignore it altogether. Regulatory capture is when this imbalance of focused resources devoted to a particular policy outcome is successful at "capturing" influence with the staff or commission members of the regulatory agency, so that the preferred policy outcomes of the special interest are implemented. The risk of regulatory capture suggests that regulatory agencies should be protected from outside influence as much as possible, or else not created at all. A captured regulatory agency that serves the interests of its invested patrons with the power of the government behind it is often worse than no regulation whatsoever.

About a year and a half ago, after sounding the alarm on the regionals, I placed strategic bearish positions in the sector which paid off extremely well. The only problem is, it really shouldn't have. Why? Because the problems of these banks were visible a mile away. I started warning friends and family as far back as 2004, I announced it on my blog in 2007, and I even offered a free report in early 2008.

Well, here comes another warning. One of the Doo Doo 32 looks to be ready to collapse some time soon. Most investors and pundits won't realize it because a) they don't read BoomBustblog, and b) due to regulatory capture, the bank has been given the OK by its regulators to hide the fact that it is getting its insides gutted out by CDOs and losses on loans and loan derivative products. Alas, I am getting ahead of myself. Let's take a quick glance at regulatory capture, graphically encapsulated, then move on to look at the recipients of the Doo Doo Award as they stand now...

A picture is worth a thousand words...

fasb_mark_to_market_chart.png

As anticipated in the latest forensic analysis, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest credit-card lender, said defaults climbed to a 2009 high of 8.81 percent from 8.02 percent in October. Delinquencies for the New York-based bank fell to 4.9 percent from 4.95 percent.

pdf  JPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription 2009-09-22 14:33:53 1.51 Mb

pdf  JPM Forensic Report (092209) Final- Retail 2009-09-24 03:12:17 130.93 Kb

pdf  JPM Report (092209) Final - Professional 2009-09-24 03:13:31 550.72 Kb

Defaults at Bank of America Corp., the No. 2 card lender, fell to 13 percent from 13.22 percent, while late payments increased to 7.69 percent from 7.59 percent, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said in a federal filing.

pdf  BAC Swap exposure_011009 2009-10-15 01:02:21 279.76 Kb   - Is BAC the next AIG?

Capital One Financial Corp., the third-biggest issuer of Visa Inc. credit cards, posted increases in defaults and delinquencies. Write-offs climbed to 9.6 percent from 9.04 percent, and payments at least 30 days overdue rose to 5.87 percent from 5.72 percent, McLean, Virginia-based Capital One said.

As anticipated in the latest forensic analysis, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest credit-card lender, said defaults climbed to a 2009 high of 8.81 percent from 8.02 percent in October. Delinquencies for the New York-based bank fell to 4.9 percent from 4.95 percent.

pdf  JPM Public Excerpt of Forensic Analysis Subscription 2009-09-22 14:33:53 1.51 Mb

pdf  JPM Forensic Report (092209) Final- Retail 2009-09-24 03:12:17 130.93 Kb

pdf  JPM Report (092209) Final - Professional 2009-09-24 03:13:31 550.72 Kb

Defaults at Bank of America Corp., the No. 2 card lender, fell to 13 percent from 13.22 percent, while late payments increased to 7.69 percent from 7.59 percent, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said in a federal filing.

pdf  BAC Swap exposure_011009 2009-10-15 01:02:21 279.76 Kb   - Is BAC the next AIG?

Capital One Financial Corp., the third-biggest issuer of Visa Inc. credit cards, posted increases in defaults and delinquencies. Write-offs climbed to 9.6 percent from 9.04 percent, and payments at least 30 days overdue rose to 5.87 percent from 5.72 percent, McLean, Virginia-based Capital One said.