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The Rating Agency Endorsed BoomBustBlog Big Bank Bash Off Starts In 3...2...1...
Bloomberg reports: Morgan Stanley, UBS, Goldman May Be Cut by Moody's
UBS AG, Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Morgan Stanley's credit ratings may be cut by as many as three levels by Moody's Investors Service, which is reviewing 17 banks and securities firms with global capital markets operations.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Citigroup Inc. (C) are among companies that may be downgraded by two levels, Moody's said in a statement, adding that the "guidance is indicative only." Moody's today cut some European insurers' ratings based on risks stemming from the region's sovereign debt crisis.
... Barclays Plc (BARC), BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Macquarie Group Ltd. (MQG) and Royal Bank of Canada may also be cut by two levels, Moody's said. Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Societe Generale SA may be lowered by one grade, it said.
So, now others may start "Hunting the Squid", looking at JPM Morgan as the sovereign entity that it wants to be and DB as the leveraged powder keg that it appears. Then there's BNP, HSBC and BofA. You heard it all here first. Despite that, the MSM has put analysts in the consistent spotlight who I feel (without intending to disrespect them, of course) have been serially incorrect on banks. I have addressed this in my blog posts, namely Question the Quality Of BoomBustBlog Bank Research, Will You? Bove and Fitch Follow "The Blog"! and CNBC Favorite Dick Bove Admits To Being Wrong On Banks, But For The Right Reasons, But Those Reasons Are Still Wrong!!!
Well, CNBC has invited me to do a full hour on their show tomorrow for the halftime report (12pm to 1pm) knowing full well I am probably the biggest contrarian that channel has ever seen. Stay tuned, it should be interesting. I will provide some downloadable valuation models companies and/or sovereigns for my readers to play with to facilitate conversation and get the tweets/emails going during the show - hopefully in my next post later on today.
Now, back to Bloomberg's report and banking, let's recap...
The hardest hitting investment banking research available focusing on Goldman Sachs (the Squid), but before you go on, be sure you have read parts 1.2. and 3:
- I'm Hunting Big Game Today:The Squid On A Spear Tip, Part 1 & Introduction
- Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?"
- Reggie Middleton Serves Up Fried Calamari From Raw Squid: Market Perceptions of Real Risk in Goldman Sachs
So, what else can go wrong with the Squid?
Plenty! In Hunting the Squid, Part2: Since When Is Enough Derivative Exposure To Blow Up The World Something To Be Ignored?" I included a graphic that illustrated Goldman's raw credit exposure...
So, what is the logical conclusion? More phallic looking charts of blatant, unbridled, and from a realistic perspective, unhedged RISK starring none other than Goldman Sachs...
And to think, many thought that JPM exposure vs World GDP chart was provocative. I query thee, exactly how will GS put a real workable hedge, a counterparty risk mitigating prophylactic if you will, over that big green stalk that is representative of Total Credit Exposure to Risk Based Capital? Short answer, Goldman may very well be to big for a counterparty condom. If that's truly the case, all of you pretty, brand name Goldman counterparties out there (and yes, there are a lot of y'all - GS really gets around), expect to get burned at the culmination of that French banking party I've been talking about for the last few quarters. Oh yeah, that perpetually printing clinic also known as the Federal Reserve just might be running a little low on that cheap liquidity antibiotic... Just giving y'all a heads up ahead of time...
And for those who may not be sure of the significance, please review my presenation as the Keynote Speaker at the ING Real Estate Valuation Seminar in Amsterdam, below. After all, for all intents and purposes, Dexia has officially collapsed - [CNBC] France, Belgium Pledge Aid for Struggling Dexia... and its a good chance that it's a matter of time before BNP follows suit - exactly as BoomBustBlog predicted for paying subsccribers way back in July.
A step by step tutorial on exactly how it will happen....
- The Mechanics Behind Setting Up A Potential European Bank Run Trade and European Bank Run Trading Supplement
- What Happens When That Juggler Gets Clumsy?
- Let's Walk The Path Of A Potential Pan-European Bank Run, Then Construct Trades To Profit From Such
- The Anatomy Of A European Bank Run: Look At The Banking Situation BEFORE The Run Occurs!
- The Fuel Behind Institutional "Runs on the Bank" Burns Through Europe, Lehman-Style!
- Multiple Botched and Mismanaged Stress Test Have Created The Makings Of A Pan-European Bank Run
- France, As Most Susceptible To Contagion, Will See Its Banks Suffer
- Observations Of French Markets From A Trader's Perspective
- On Your Mark, Get Set, (Bank) Run! The D...
- ECB As European Lender Of Last Resort = Institutional Purveyor Of A Pan-European Ponzi Scheme
The European banking debacle was predicted at the start of 2010, a full year and a half before this has come to a head. If I could have seen it so clearly, why couldn't the banking industry and its regulators?
Now, back to GS, and considering all of the European falllout coming down the pike, of which Goldman is heavily leveraged into, particulary France (say BNP/Dexia/etc.)...
Let's go over exactly how GS is exposed following the logic outlined in the graphic before this series of videos, as excerpted from subscriber document Goldmans Sachs Derivative Exposure: The Squid in the Coal Mine?, pages 3,4 and 5.
Bank of America
Warning! This is going to be a highly, highly controversial post. It is long, it is thick with information, and it hits HARD! Thus if you are easily offended by pretty women, intellectually aggressive brothers in cognitive war garb, your government regulators selling you out to the highest European bidder, or the cold hard facts borne from world class research that you can't find from the sell side or the mainstream media, I strongly suggest you stop reading here and move on. There is nothing further for you to see. As for all others, please keep in mind that I warned of Bank of America Lynch[ing this] CountryWide's swap exposure through a subscriber document on Thursday, 01 October 2009, then went public with it shortly thereafter.
There has been a lot of feedback and emails emanating from the last RT/Capital Accounts interview that I did earlier this week, as well as it should be. The dilemma is that I don't think the viewership is taking the topic seriously enough. I explicitly said, on air, that the Federal Reserve endorsed this country's most dangerous bank in shifting its most toxic assets directly onto the back of the US taxpayer through their most sacrosanct liquid assets, their bank accounts. In addition, when the shit hits the fan, those very same assets will be second in line for recovery, for the derivative counterparties will get first grabs.
Now, maybe its due to the fact that the interviewer was a cutie, or my voice was too deep, or because I didn't appear in my superhero garb, but I really don' think the message was driven home by the interview that I gave on Russian TV's Capital Account introductory show last week. So, let's try this again, but this time instead of donning that suit and tie, I go as that most unlikely of financial superheroes...
To begin with, for those who did not see the Capital Accounts interview on Russian Television, here it is...
Next, we need to see just how pertinent being 2nd in line is in the liquidation of an insolvent investment bank. I do mean insolvent. Yes, I know the big name brand investors who don't look like that rather unconventional superhero standing in front of the Squid headquarters above may believe that BAC has value, but I have told you since 2008, and I'll tell you now - the equity of Bank of America Lynch[ing this] CountryWide is effectively worth less than zero! Yeah, I know, many of those name brand analysts espoused in the mainstream media disagree, and to each their own, but several of Bank of America Lynch[ing this] CountryWide's latest acquisitions, ex. Countrywide, Merrill Lynch, etc. were enough to make it insolvent. Add several negative numbers together and do you think a little financial engineering is going to give you a positive number??? A little common damn sense is all that is needed to fill the bill here.
That $6 you see quoted on your equity screens is a freebie, a giveaway, and not indicative of economic book value in my opinion. Then again, I could be wrong, but I was correct on practically every major bank, insurance and real estate co. failure in the US over the last 4 years, as well as predicting many of the European ones. See Did Reggie Middleton, a Blogger at BoomBustBlog, Best Wall Streets Best of the Best?
BoomBust BNP Paribas? as excerpted...
For those not familiar with the banking book vs trading book markdown game, I urge you to review this keynote presentation given in Amsterdam which predicted this very scenario, and reference the blog post and research of the same:
- a research note to subscribers, The Inevitability of Another Bank Crisis,
- followed by blog posts on the same, see Is Another Banking Crisis Inevitable?, as excerpted...
But wait, there's more - much more!
Do you remember my recent missive "There's Something Fishy at the House of Morgan"? Well, in it I queried how it was that JP Morgan can continuously pull risk provisions and reserves to pad quarterly accounting earnings at time when I not only made clear that we are in a real estate depression but the facts actually played out the same. As excerpted from the aforementioned article:
I invite all to peruse the mainstream financial media and sell side Wall Street's take on JP Morgan's Q1 earnings before reading through my take. Pray thee tell me, why is there such a distinct difference? Below are excerpts from the our review of JP Morgan's Q1 results, available to paying subscribers (including valuation and scenario analysis): JPM Q1 2011 Review & Analysis.
I have warned of this event. JP Morgan (as well as Bank of America) is literally a litigation sinkhole. See JP Morgan Purposely Downplayed Litigation Risk That Spiked 5,000% Last Year & Is Still Severely Under Reserved By Over $4 Billion!!! Shareholder Lawyers Should Be Scrambling Now Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011.
This piece has always been a classic: An Independent Look into JP Morgan
Cute graphic above, eh? There is plenty of this in the public preview. When considering the staggering level of derivatives employed by JPM, it is frightening to even consider the fact that the quality of JPM's derivative exposure is even worse than Bear Stearns and Lehman's derivative portfolio just prior to their fall. Total net derivative exposure rated below BBB and below for JP Morgan currently stands at 35.4% while the same stood at 17.0% for Bear Stearns (February 2008) and 9.2% for Lehman (May 2008). We all know what happened to Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, don't we??? I warned all about Bear Stearns (Is this the Breaking of the Bear?: On Sunday, 27 January 2008) and Lehman ("Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise?": On February 20th, 2008) months before their collapse by taking a close, unbiased look at their balance sheet. Both of these companies were rated investment grade at the time, just like "you know who". Now, I am not saying JPM is about to collapse, since it is one of the anointed ones chosen by the government and guaranteed not to fail - unlike Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and it is (after all) investment grade rated. Who would you put your faith in, the big ratings agencies or your favorite blogger? Then again, if it acts like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, is it a chicken??? I'll leave the rest up for my readers to decide.
This public preview is the culmination of several investigative posts that I have made that have led me to look more closely into the big money center banks. It all started with a hunch that JPM wasn't marking their WaMu portfolio acquisition accurately to market prices (see Is JP Morgan Taking Realistic Marks on its WaMu Portfolio Purchase? Doubtful!), which would very well have rendered them insolvent - particularly if that was the practice for the balance of their portfolio as well (see Re: JP Morgan, when I say insolvent, I really mean insolvent). I then posted the following series, which eventually led to me finally breaking down and performing a full forensic analysis of JP Morgan, instead of piece-mealing it with anecdotal analysis.
- The Fed Believes Secrecy is in Our Best Interests. Here are Some of the Secrets
- Why Doesn't the Media Take a Truly Independent, Unbiased Look at the Big Banks in the US?
- As the markets climb on top of one big, incestuous pool of concentrated risk...
- Any objective review shows that the big banks are simply too big for the safety of this country
- Why hasn't anybody questioned those rosy stress test results now that the facts have played out?
You can download the public preview here. If you find it to be of interest or insightful, feel free to distribute it (intact) as you wish.
Traditional banking revenues: manifest destiny as forwarned - Weakening Revenue Streams in US Banks Will Make Them More Susceptible To Contingent Risks
'Nuff said! Let's move over to Morgan Stanley... The Truth Is Revealed About The Riskiest Bank On The Street - What Does That Say About The Newest Bank To Carry That Title? You know, I'm still quite bearish on Asian, European and American banks. Just look at the facts as they're laid before you...
Subscribers, see the lastest research: HSBC Haircuts, Derivative Risks and Valuation. I prefer not to excerpt this material, but this post is lengthy and rich enough as it is. The archives are rich on this company as well...
My take on Moody's itself...
I have also warned extensively on the other nations that Moody's is just now getting to stripping, and will address them in detail in a separate post. In the meantime, this is a good time to bring up that Interesting Documentary on the Power of Rating Agencies, with Reggie Middleton Excerpts
Continuing my rant on the effectiveness (not) of the ratings agencies, I bring to you an interesting documentary on the rating agencies' effect on the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, produced by VPRO Tegenlicht out of Amsterdam. You can see the full video here, but only about half of it is in English. I appear in the following spots: 4:00, 22:30, 40:00... Reggie Middleton Discussing the Rating Agencies effect on Sovereign Europe
Banking problems are inevitable as long as policymakers, regulators and central bankers insist on try to control the economic circle of life.
The result of this "Great Global Macro Experiment" is a market crash that never completed.
BoomBustBlog subscribers should reference The Inevitability of Another Bank Crisis while non-subscribers should see Is Another Banking Crisis Inevitable? as well as The True Cause Of The 2008 Market Crash Looks Like Its About To Rear Its Ugly Head Again, With A Vengeance. All four corners of the globe are currently "hobbling along on one leg", under the pretense of a "global recovery".
Reminisce while traipsing through our real estate analysis and research:
- On Employment and Real Estate Recovery Monday, April 25th, 2011
- A First In The History Of Mainstream Media? NAR Is Identified As A Joke! Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
- The True Cause Of The 2008 Market Crash Looks Like Its About To Rear Its Ugly Head Again, With A Vengeance Friday, March 11th, 2011
- Reggie Middleton ON CNBC's Fast Money Discussing Hopium in Real Estate Friday, February 25th, 2011
- Further Proof Of The Worsening Of The Real Estate DepressionThursday, February 24th, 2011
- In Case You Didn't Get The Memo, The US Is In a Real Estate Depression That Is About To Get Much Worse Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
- When Will the Mainstream Media Be Ready To Call The NAR The Sham That It Really Is? Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Those who wish to jump on the gravy train of our next US bank analysis featuring those susceptible to this malaise can subcribe here and now!