"There are going to be a number of muni defaults, but it’s where you draw the line. Will states be allowed to default? Will legislation be introduced to allow states to restructure? I don’t believe that’s the case. I believe states will not default."
The Business Insider has a fantastic Interview With Hayman Capital Founder Kyle Bass. Bass testified at the crisis hearings in Washington, about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, bank capital, bank leverage and derivatives. He discussed those issues with CNBC’s David Faber along with his forecast for Japan.
Here is a partial transcript.
Kyle Bass: …. China and Japan own a lot of Fannie and Freddie Debt. I think we are more sensitive to them losing money than we are to the US taxpayer losing money and I think that has to change. … Fannie and Freddie have paid $200 million into campaigns of 354 politicians over the last 10 years. This is an organization created by the lawmakers. Why are they paying the lawmakers? Let’s get rid of this structure and just have the government make mortgage loans. …
David Faber: Let’s talk briefly about some other things you are doing at Hayman. … We saw the mini-blowup in Dubai, we have heard a lot about Greece, when you look at the totality of sovereign risk, where are you focused?
Kyle Bass: I think the big canary in the coalmine is Japan. When you see how Japan has lost 20 years of their prosperity from 1990 to today, you see what happens when a government steps in and runs giant deficits to make up for the private market place pulling back and attempting to deleverage.
So what we’ve seen around the globe in the developed world, bad private assets are moving onto public balance sheets. Sovereign balance sheets have expanded 86% from pre-crisis levels of debt. If you extrapolate that from the beginning levels of debt, many of these countries around the world won’t be able to service their debt. So I think in the next 2-3-4 years you start to see
David Faber: Do you believe Japan is in a position where it might default and/or devalue its currency as well, in the next 3-4 years?
Kyle Bass: I do not think Japan has a way out of this.
David Faber: Why Not?
Kyle Bass: You have a secular decline in population, and you have a huge funding structure at below market rates. So Japan’s weighted cost of capital is only 1.4% and their sovereign balance sheet is much worse
In keeping with the warnings presented by Kyle Bass warned that the entire housing bubble is now being ported over to the taxpayer’s balance sheet, Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer for Fannie Mae claims that the Federal Housing Administration will likely require a major taxpayer bailout "in the next 24 to 36 months" as it is likely to incur $56 billion more in losses than it can withstand.
For those that think the NINJA loans are a thing of the past, think again – the Fed is now actively encouraging just those same reckless standards that brought America to the brink:
The FHA program’s volumes have quadrupled since 2006 as private lenders and insurers pulled back amid the U.S. housing slump, Pinto said. The trend has left the agency backing risky loans and exposed to fraud in a “market where prices have yet to stabilize,” he said. The program insures loans with down payments as low as 3.5 percent and has no formal credit-score requirements.
The FHA Commissioner, David Stevens, is keeping to his side of the story, which is that everything is being properly accounted for, and there is no risk in the future of the Administration. Don’t expect this story to change until the next time the handout hat startrs getting tossed around legislators. In the meantime, the deterioration in loan standards keeps accelerating:
About 14.4 percent of FHA loans were delinquent as of June 30 and 2.98 percent were already being foreclosed upon, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The combined percentage for all mortgages was a record 13.16 percent, according to data from the Washington-based trade group, which said in releasing the figures the share of FHA loans past due is being suppressed by the large amount new debt.
So there you have it: housing bubble 2.0, now openly sponsored by the Administration. The more things change (insert appropriate slogan reference here)…
With a no longer “patient” Fed set for “liftoff” sometime this year, some observers (including IMF chief Christine Lagarde) are bracing for emerging market turbulence. A new paper from the Center for Global Development attempts to discern which EMs are most vulnerable to an “external shock” (be it geopolitical or financial) and also seeks to determine which countries are more prepared to weather a storm now than they were pre-crisis. According to the study, the relevant factors are 1) current account balance, 2) ratio of external debt to GDP, 3) ratio of short-term external debt to reserves, 4) fiscal balance to GDP, 5) government debt to GDP, 6) inflation versus t...
Friday's release of the publicly available data from the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 131.6, up slightly from 131.2 the previous week. The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -3.2, up from the previous week's -3.6 and off its interim low of -4.9 in mid-January.
"The Song Remains the Same"
As I type this, the featured article on the ECRI website remains the February 23rd piece, "The Song Remains the Same" (full report requires a subscription), which illustrates the shrinking GDP growth during the seven business cycle expansions since 1970:
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
Well, it didn’t take long for the bulls to jump on their buying opportunity, with a little help from the bulls’ friend in the Fed. In fact, despite huge daily swings in the market averages driven by daily news regarding timing of interest rate hikes, the strength in the dollar, and oil prices, trading actually has been quite rational, honoring technical formations and support levels and dutifully selling overbought conditions and buying when oversold. Yes, the tried and true investing clichés continue to work -- “Don’t fight the Fed,” and “The trend is your friend.”
In this weekly update, I give my view of the cur...
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While I'm not going to argue the point about the possibility that Bitcoin drops to $1, or less, (that could happen yet, but not for the reasons you propose) I felt it necessary to point out something you seem to have overlooked.
While it's likely that the US government watching Bitco...
Bullish trades abound in Cypress Semiconductor options today, most notably a massive bull call spread initiated in the July expiry contracts. One strategist appears to have purchased 30,000 of the Jul 16.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.89 each and sold the same number of Jul 19.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.22 apiece. Net premium paid to put on the spread amounts to $0.67 per contract, thus establishing a breakeven share price of $16.67 on the trade. Cypress shares reached a 52-week high of $16.25 back on Friday, March 13th, and would need to rally 4.6% over the current level to exceed the breakeven point of $16.25. The spread generates maximum potential profits of $2.33 per contract in the event that CY shares surge more than 20% in the next four months to reach $19.00 by July expiration. Shar...
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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