I received this message the other day through the messaging system in my site:

"I read your article from early Sept about the next four banks likely to fail. I writing to let you know we filed our thrid quarter call report but more importantly, we are filing our earnings release today, It should be out there within the hour. I know your article was based on call report data and you can't base your analysis on other factors that you don't have, but I think the title of your article was a stetch and way too provacative. It probably helps sell your services but is a great diservice to those struggling daily to clean up the mess. I hope after your read the new informtion you'll write an article closer to reality and retract anything you may have said that isn't likely. Thanks, Very Interested Party, United Security Banchares "UBFO""

I removed his identity since he contacted me privately and didn't expressly communicate he wanted his opinion published. He is far from a disinterested party though, and is referring to an article that I wrote on the Doo Doo banks in September, "More Doo Doo Banks Available to the Public". For those of you who do not know, I used this term to coin the list of banks that I predicted may hit the fan in the spring of 2008 - "see 32 banks in deep doo-doo". If one peruses the list of the Who's Who in Doo Doo, one can see that it appears that I had a valid point as many of those banks collapsed or had to be rescued. In re-reading the article, I don't think the title of the article was a stretch at all, nor too provocative, considering the path of previous banks with similar metrics have taken. In addition, I never said these banks were likely to fail. They are in trouble, though. I understand his point, but I do not agree with it. I am sure if he viewed this from outside the bank as compared to inside, he would consider his bank's numbers to be precarious as well. 

I received this message the other day through the messaging system in my site:

"I read your article from early Sept about the next four banks likely to fail. I writing to let you know we filed our thrid quarter call report but more importantly, we are filing our earnings release today, It should be out there within the hour. I know your article was based on call report data and you can't base your analysis on other factors that you don't have, but I think the title of your article was a stetch and way too provacative. It probably helps sell your services but is a great diservice to those struggling daily to clean up the mess. I hope after your read the new informtion you'll write an article closer to reality and retract anything you may have said that isn't likely. Thanks, Very Interested Party, United Security Banchares "UBFO""

I removed his identity since he contacted me privately and didn't expressly communicate he wanted his opinion published. He is far from a disinterested party though, and is referring to an article that I wrote on the Doo Doo banks in September, "More Doo Doo Banks Available to the Public". For those of you who do not know, I used this term to coin the list of banks that I predicted may hit the fan in the spring of 2008 - "see 32 banks in deep doo-doo". If one peruses the list of the Who's Who in Doo Doo, one can see that it appears that I had a valid point as many of those banks collapsed or had to be rescued. In re-reading the article, I don't think the title of the article was a stretch at all, nor too provocative, considering the path of previous banks with similar metrics have taken. In addition, I never said these banks were likely to fail. They are in trouble, though. I understand his point, but I do not agree with it. I am sure if he viewed this from outside the bank as compared to inside, he would consider his bank's numbers to be precarious as well. 

Saturday, 31 October 2009 20:00

The Future of Banking?

I saw this clip on Calculated Risk, and just couldn't resist. The Brits absolutly kill me Sealed.

It brings me to mind of Warren Beatty in "Bulworth" (1998), an absolutely hilarious movie based on what would happen if a politician were to actually tell the truth for any extended amount of time.

Clip

Full video - Banking with Bird & Fortune at the Financial Times.

 

Saturday, 31 October 2009 20:00

The Future of Banking?

I saw this clip on Calculated Risk, and just couldn't resist. The Brits absolutly kill me Sealed.

It brings me to mind of Warren Beatty in "Bulworth" (1998), an absolutely hilarious movie based on what would happen if a politician were to actually tell the truth for any extended amount of time.

Clip

Full video - Banking with Bird & Fortune at the Financial Times.

 

Of the many issues that I have been warning about concerning banks, their balance sheets and the risks that they take, one of the (and there are a few) most underappreciated is the currency risk of the "mother of all carry trades". See Roubini Not Alone in Fearing Dollar Carry Trade and Roubini Sees `Huge' Asset Bubbles Growing in `Mother of All Carry Trades'.

Investors worldwide are borrowing dollars to buy assets including equities and commodities, fueling “huge” bubbles that may spark another financial crisis, said New York University professor Nouriel Roubini.

“We have the mother of all carry trades,” Roubini, who predicted the banking crisis that spurred more than $1.6 trillion of asset writedowns and credit losses at financial companies worldwide since 2007, said via satellite to a conference in Cape Town, South Africa. “Everybody’s playing the same game and this game is becoming dangerous.”

The dollar has dropped 12 percent in the past year against a basket of six major currencies as the Federal Reserve, led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, cut interest rates to near zero in an effort to lift the U.S. economy out of its worst recession since the 1930s. Roubini said the dollar will eventually “bottom out” as the Fed raises borrowing costs and withdraws stimulus measures including purchases of government debt. That may force investors to reverse carry trades and “rush to the exit,” he said.

“The risk is that we are planting the seeds of the next financial crisis,” said Roubini, chairman of New York-based research and advisory service Roubini Global Economics. “This asset bubble is totally inconsistent with a weaker recovery of economic and financial fundamentals.”

As has been the case at least twice in the past, I am in agreement with the man. The amount of bubbliciousness, overvaluation and risk in the market is outrageous, particularly considering the fact that we haven't even come close to deflating the bubble from earlier this year and last year! Even more alarming is some of the largest banks in the world, and some of the most respected (and disrespected) banks are heavily leveraged into this trade one way or the other. The alleged swap hedges that these guys allegedly have will be put to the test, and put to the test relatively soon. As I have alleged in previous posts (As the markets climb on top of one big, incestuous pool of concentrated risk... ), you cannot truly hedge multi-billion risks in a closed circle of only 4 counterparties, all of whom are in the same businesses taking the same risks.

Click to expand!

bank_ficc_derivative_trading.png

See the following for a backgrounder on my opinion before we move on to the risks of currency volatility and interest rate swaps in the "Too Big To Fail, but Too Big to Let Survive Intact" club:

 

Of the many issues that I have been warning about concerning banks, their balance sheets and the risks that they take, one of the (and there are a few) most underappreciated is the currency risk of the "mother of all carry trades". See Roubini Not Alone in Fearing Dollar Carry Trade and Roubini Sees `Huge' Asset Bubbles Growing in `Mother of All Carry Trades'.

Investors worldwide are borrowing dollars to buy assets including equities and commodities, fueling “huge” bubbles that may spark another financial crisis, said New York University professor Nouriel Roubini.

“We have the mother of all carry trades,” Roubini, who predicted the banking crisis that spurred more than $1.6 trillion of asset writedowns and credit losses at financial companies worldwide since 2007, said via satellite to a conference in Cape Town, South Africa. “Everybody’s playing the same game and this game is becoming dangerous.”

The dollar has dropped 12 percent in the past year against a basket of six major currencies as the Federal Reserve, led by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, cut interest rates to near zero in an effort to lift the U.S. economy out of its worst recession since the 1930s. Roubini said the dollar will eventually “bottom out” as the Fed raises borrowing costs and withdraws stimulus measures including purchases of government debt. That may force investors to reverse carry trades and “rush to the exit,” he said.

“The risk is that we are planting the seeds of the next financial crisis,” said Roubini, chairman of New York-based research and advisory service Roubini Global Economics. “This asset bubble is totally inconsistent with a weaker recovery of economic and financial fundamentals.”

As has been the case at least twice in the past, I am in agreement with the man. The amount of bubbliciousness, overvaluation and risk in the market is outrageous, particularly considering the fact that we haven't even come close to deflating the bubble from earlier this year and last year! Even more alarming is some of the largest banks in the world, and some of the most respected (and disrespected) banks are heavily leveraged into this trade one way or the other. The alleged swap hedges that these guys allegedly have will be put to the test, and put to the test relatively soon. As I have alleged in previous posts (As the markets climb on top of one big, incestuous pool of concentrated risk... ), you cannot truly hedge multi-billion risks in a closed circle of only 4 counterparties, all of whom are in the same businesses taking the same risks.

Click to expand!

bank_ficc_derivative_trading.png

See the following for a backgrounder on my opinion before we move on to the risks of currency volatility and interest rate swaps in the "Too Big To Fail, but Too Big to Let Survive Intact" club:

 

I run a rather interesting site. I believe I provide uncommon analysis, and due to that fact it is not necessarily appreciated by the masses. Point in case: I say X company is fundamentally weak and the share price subsequently goes up and/or they report "record" earnings. There are some that then regard my analysis as wrong or irrelevant, or worse yet not applicable because it uses the fundamentals. It is unfortunate that such a large cross section of investors now truly believe that fundamentals no longer apply - or worse yet believe short term price movement is the grand arbiter of value! Fundamental analysis is basically the measurement of value against risk. When one believes these principals no longer apply, then one no longer has confidence in the capitalist system and/or one has been hoodwinked by the most recent bubble/burst. This is where I believe we are now, and so shortly after just three bubbles were blown and popped in the last decade. - with one just popping last year! That's right three, literally one every three years or so - dot.com/telecomm, real estate/credit, and now the government induced equity bubble. We can arguably throw 2007 oil in there as well. Those that follow me know that this is what I do for a living - see  "The Great Global Macro Experiment, Revisited".

Understanding my proprietary investment style

 

As you can see, there is a reason why they call this BoomBustBlog! Many people believe we have hit that trough in March of this year. I don't. Even if we did, we have literally approached bubblicious territory again which sets us up for another spin at the asset cycle.
reggieboombustcycles.png

Alas, I digress... Back to the point. I am a capitalist and believe in the principals of capitalism. Thus, I do tend to adhere to the fundamentals. Sooner or later, the market always returns to the fundamentals. The ensuing ride may be rough, but it is also nearly always guaranteed. This brings us to Wells Fargo 3rd quarter earnings report and their "record" earnings. As a quick recap of where I am coming from re: Wells then on to a review of their Q3-09 results...
  1. Doo-Doo bank drill down, part 1 - Wells Fargo - I introduce Wells as a founding member of the Doo Doo 32 list of banks to encounter distress in the Spring of 2008. Here I was the first to introduce the blogoshpere to Wells extremely aggressive accounting games, namely extending the definition of the term delinquent in order to hide HELOC losses!
  2. The open source mortgage default model I released an open source spreadsheet that detailed defualts in almost all states sourced from independent government sources. Apply these loss rates to Wells portfolio and the truth is evident.
  3. Fact, Fiction, Farce and Lies! What happened to the Bank Bears? I attempted to stress the difference between economic and accounting losses. Yes, Wells has "record" accounting profits, but also has record economic losses as well.
  4. Beware of Bank Earnings Propaganda - They are still in BIG trouble!- self explanatory
  5. Wells Fargo reports in a few hours and I wonder how forthcoming they will be with their credit losses
  6. Wells Fargo Q2 2008 Highlights  
  7. Green Shoots are Being Fertilized by Brown Turds in the Mortgage Markets

Subscriber links with the real heavy analysis can be found at the end of this article. 

Reggie Middleton on Wells Fargo's 3Q09 Reported Performance

Results Review - 3Q09

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) reported higher-than-expected earnings for 3Q-09, beating consensus estimates for the second time in a row, primarily on back of increased revenues from mortgage banking. Although WFC's reported EPS at $0.56 was up 14.0% y-o-y, it declined 2.0% q-o-q in 3Q09. A y-o-y growth in earnings reflected strong growth in non-interest income (up 169.8% y-o-y) and net interest income (up 83.1% y-o-y) led by higher customer base and increase in product offerings to its existing customers, partially offset by increased provisions for credit losses (up 144.9% y-o-y and 20.2% q-o-q) during the same period. Excluding the impact of gains from mortgage servicing rights (MSR) and hedging gains (included in mortgage revenues and overall constituting a part of non-interest income), the Company's earnings declined in 3Q2009 on q-o-q basis. The contracting base of interest earning assets (q-on-q) along with higher loan losses provides a significant headwind to the company's valuation in the near-term.

In 3Q-09 WFCs' net charge-offs increased to $5.1 billion, or 2.5% of average loans (up 156.2% y-o-y and 16.5% q-o-q) primarily due to higher charge-offs from Wachovia's loan portfolio which contributed 33.8% to total net charge-offs. Wachovia's net charge-off rate deteriorated sharply to reach 1.66% in 3Q09 from 0.92% in 2Q09 while WFC's legacy loan portfolio charge-off rate rose 2 basis points to 3.37% in 3Q09 from 3.35% in 2Q09. Further, non-performing assets also rose 27.9% q-o-q to $23.5 billion as of September 30, 2009, or 2.9% of total loans, reflecting deterioration in the Company's consumer loans and Wachovia's commercial and commercial real estate nonaccrual loans.

I run a rather interesting site. I believe I provide uncommon analysis, and due to that fact it is not necessarily appreciated by the masses. Point in case: I say X company is fundamentally weak and the share price subsequently goes up and/or they report "record" earnings. There are some that then regard my analysis as wrong or irrelevant, or worse yet not applicable because it uses the fundamentals. It is unfortunate that such a large cross section of investors now truly believe that fundamentals no longer apply - or worse yet believe short term price movement is the grand arbiter of value! Fundamental analysis is basically the measurement of value against risk. When one believes these principals no longer apply, then one no longer has confidence in the capitalist system and/or one has been hoodwinked by the most recent bubble/burst. This is where I believe we are now, and so shortly after just three bubbles were blown and popped in the last decade. - with one just popping last year! That's right three, literally one every three years or so - dot.com/telecomm, real estate/credit, and now the government induced equity bubble. We can arguably throw 2007 oil in there as well. Those that follow me know that this is what I do for a living - see  "The Great Global Macro Experiment, Revisited".

Understanding my proprietary investment style

 

As you can see, there is a reason why they call this BoomBustBlog! Many people believe we have hit that trough in March of this year. I don't. Even if we did, we have literally approached bubblicious territory again which sets us up for another spin at the asset cycle.
reggieboombustcycles.png

Alas, I digress... Back to the point. I am a capitalist and believe in the principals of capitalism. Thus, I do tend to adhere to the fundamentals. Sooner or later, the market always returns to the fundamentals. The ensuing ride may be rough, but it is also nearly always guaranteed. This brings us to Wells Fargo 3rd quarter earnings report and their "record" earnings. As a quick recap of where I am coming from re: Wells then on to a review of their Q3-09 results...
  1. Doo-Doo bank drill down, part 1 - Wells Fargo - I introduce Wells as a founding member of the Doo Doo 32 list of banks to encounter distress in the Spring of 2008. Here I was the first to introduce the blogoshpere to Wells extremely aggressive accounting games, namely extending the definition of the term delinquent in order to hide HELOC losses!
  2. The open source mortgage default model I released an open source spreadsheet that detailed defualts in almost all states sourced from independent government sources. Apply these loss rates to Wells portfolio and the truth is evident.
  3. Fact, Fiction, Farce and Lies! What happened to the Bank Bears? I attempted to stress the difference between economic and accounting losses. Yes, Wells has "record" accounting profits, but also has record economic losses as well.
  4. Beware of Bank Earnings Propaganda - They are still in BIG trouble!- self explanatory
  5. Wells Fargo reports in a few hours and I wonder how forthcoming they will be with their credit losses
  6. Wells Fargo Q2 2008 Highlights  
  7. Green Shoots are Being Fertilized by Brown Turds in the Mortgage Markets

Subscriber links with the real heavy analysis can be found at the end of this article. 

Reggie Middleton on Wells Fargo's 3Q09 Reported Performance

Results Review - 3Q09

Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) reported higher-than-expected earnings for 3Q-09, beating consensus estimates for the second time in a row, primarily on back of increased revenues from mortgage banking. Although WFC's reported EPS at $0.56 was up 14.0% y-o-y, it declined 2.0% q-o-q in 3Q09. A y-o-y growth in earnings reflected strong growth in non-interest income (up 169.8% y-o-y) and net interest income (up 83.1% y-o-y) led by higher customer base and increase in product offerings to its existing customers, partially offset by increased provisions for credit losses (up 144.9% y-o-y and 20.2% q-o-q) during the same period. Excluding the impact of gains from mortgage servicing rights (MSR) and hedging gains (included in mortgage revenues and overall constituting a part of non-interest income), the Company's earnings declined in 3Q2009 on q-o-q basis. The contracting base of interest earning assets (q-on-q) along with higher loan losses provides a significant headwind to the company's valuation in the near-term.

In 3Q-09 WFCs' net charge-offs increased to $5.1 billion, or 2.5% of average loans (up 156.2% y-o-y and 16.5% q-o-q) primarily due to higher charge-offs from Wachovia's loan portfolio which contributed 33.8% to total net charge-offs. Wachovia's net charge-off rate deteriorated sharply to reach 1.66% in 3Q09 from 0.92% in 2Q09 while WFC's legacy loan portfolio charge-off rate rose 2 basis points to 3.37% in 3Q09 from 3.35% in 2Q09. Further, non-performing assets also rose 27.9% q-o-q to $23.5 billion as of September 30, 2009, or 2.9% of total loans, reflecting deterioration in the Company's consumer loans and Wachovia's commercial and commercial real estate nonaccrual loans.

Sunday, 18 October 2009 20:00

I'm Not Defending JP Morgan, but...

I was perusing ZeroHedge the other day (a fine, rabble rousing rag after my own heart), when I came across a guest post accusing JP Morgan of some funny stuff. Those that follow me know that I really believe JPM to be highly overrated. In reviewing the authors allegations, he may actually be on to something in regards to portions of the AML stuff. In order to truly ascertain the extent, if any, I would have to dig a little further, which I don't have the time to do right now.

I feel he is jumping the gun on the general liquidity argument though. No disrespect intended to the man, for anyone willing to break out a calculator and dispel the "this is the best thing since sliced bread" propaganda and disinformation is cool in my book.

Sunday, 18 October 2009 20:00

I'm Not Defending JP Morgan, but...

I was perusing ZeroHedge the other day (a fine, rabble rousing rag after my own heart), when I came across a guest post accusing JP Morgan of some funny stuff. Those that follow me know that I really believe JPM to be highly overrated. In reviewing the authors allegations, he may actually be on to something in regards to portions of the AML stuff. In order to truly ascertain the extent, if any, I would have to dig a little further, which I don't have the time to do right now.

I feel he is jumping the gun on the general liquidity argument though. No disrespect intended to the man, for anyone willing to break out a calculator and dispel the "this is the best thing since sliced bread" propaganda and disinformation is cool in my book.