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