Posts Tagged ‘Enron’

CHANOS: CHINA IS THE NEXT ENRON

CHANOS: CHINA IS THE NEXT ENRON

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

James Chanos of Kynikos Associates? says China is the next Enron. Of course, this would sound ridiculous if Chanos hadn’t been one of the original people to uncover the Enron scandal.  Chanos is a master short seller, accountant and hedge fund manager. He essentially believes the Chinese economy is one big government run ponzi scheme. He thinks it will end very badly:


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Chanos: Recurring Themes in Short Selling

Chanos: Recurring Themes in Short Selling

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

I linked to this summation of Jim Chanos’s short selling discussion last night, but I loved the post so much I decided to excerpt the most interesting part.  According to Chanos (via My Investing Notebook), these four themes come up in great shorting opportunities fairly regularly:

1. Booms that go bust – define boom as anything fueled by debt in which the cash flows produced by the asset do not cover the cost of the debt. The Internet is not a boom since they didn’t have debt. The Telecom Bubble that went along with it was.

2. Consumer Fads – investors like to extrapolate strong growth well further into the future then they should. It’s also a great source of decoration for your office, he’s got a Cabbage Patch Kid next to a George Forman Grill next to a Nordic Trak.

3. Technological Obsolescence – Everyone thinks the old product will last longer than it actually does. Examples were Wang Word Processors (replaced by PCs), Record Stores (replaced by digital downloads). He says the internet is the cheapest way to distribute anything. However people are still renting DVDs by mail, which surprises him (Hint: likely short Netflix!). These businesses always look cheap but the cash flow goes down just as fast as the share price (think Kodak and film).

4. Structurally-Flawed Accounting – beware serial acquirers, they often write down the assets of the acquired firm in the stub period that no one sees. Ask management what the net assets of the firm were on their latest end of quarter and what they were when they were acquired. Most management won’t tell you this, some will, however. But by writing down inventory and A/R they can “spring load” results once the company is acquired. They’re supposed to adjust the purchase price but most don’t.

Chanos notes that the Enron short story (which made him famous on its way to zero) was like ‘one-stop shopping’ for these red flags, it featured conference calls with foul language, mark-to-model accounting, off-balance sheet stuff, etc.

I highly suggest you click over to read the whole post if you want to learn more about short selling and its place in finance.

Source:

Jim Chanos: The Power of Negative Thinking (CFA annual conference 2010) 

Photo by Vince Veneziani, Clusterstock 


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DÉJÀ VU

DÉJÀ VU

By James Surowiecki, The New Yorker 

A major Wall Street firm is accused of misleading clients by concealing key conflicts of interest. E-mails suggest that an employee touted its wares in public while slamming them in private. The scandal is front-page news, and observers anticipate severe damage to the firm’s reputation. We could be talking about Goldman Sachs today. But we could also be talking about Citigroup or Merrill Lynch in 2002, after the tech bubble burst. Then there was widespread anger at banks’ dodgy practices and reckless behavior, and an insistence that investors and regulators needed to be more vigilant. So why are we going through this all over again?

 

In the middle of the past decade, it seemed as if Americans thought that Wall Street could do no wrong. But just a couple of years earlier people thought that Wall Street could do nothing right. High-profile analysts had put “buy” ratings on the stocks of companies that they privately called “pigs.” WorldCom and Enron committed outrageous accounting fraud, the latter abetted by the venerable Arthur Andersen. There was so much bad behavior that it was hard to keep track—I.P.O. spinning, mutual-fund late trading, Adelphia, Tyco. There was shock that companies whose viability depended on reputation had so casually exploited their clients, and a sense that it would take a long time for the banks to win back trust.

Continue Deja Vu here.>>

Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds

 


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The Biggest Financial Deception of the Decade

The Biggest Financial Deception of the Decade

Courtesy of Jeff Clark, Editor, Casey’s Gold & Resource Report

Businessman in Handcuffs

Enron? Bear Stearns? Bernie Madoff? They’re all big stories about big losses and have hurt a lot of employees and investors. But none come close to getting my vote for the decade’s most dastardly deception…

First came Enron, with $65.5 billion in assets, going belly-up and becoming the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history at that time. Chairman Kenneth Lay said that Enron’s decision to file bankruptcy would “stabilize the company,” but over the next five years the company was completely liquidated. The stock went from a high of $84.63 in December 2000 to a whopping 26¢ one year later.

And what had we been told by the media? Fortune magazine dubbed Enron “America’s Most Innovative Company” for six consecutive years. A well-intentioned friend wanted to give me a gift subscription to the magazine for Christmas; I choked on my cocktail and luckily he assumed my drink was too strong. In the end, you can thank Enron for bringing us the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, a ghastly financial reporting regulation for which compliance is grossly expensive, and – stop the presses! – hasn’t prevented similar repeats.

Next came WorldCom filing for bankruptcy in 2002, their assets of $103.9 billion dwarfing Enron’s. “We will use this time under reorganization to regain our financial health and focus, while operating with the highest integrity,” assured CEO John Sidgmore. Was his eggnog spiked? Today, WorldCom stock certificates have been spotted as doilies under pancake house coffee mugs signifying it’s decaf.

Tyco, Adelphia, Peregrine Systems… it’s a crowded field around this time. But their stories of fraud and greed and mismanagement get boring after awhile. Just watch the closing credits from the movie Fun with Dick and Jane and you’ll see what I mean.

Bear Stearns set us all up for the Big Meltdown of 2008. It was B.S. (no, I mean Bear Stearns) that pioneered the asset-backed securities markets, and we all know how that turned out. Later we learned that as losses mounted in 2006 and 2007, the company was actually adding to its exposure of mortgage-backed assets, gearing itself up to 35:1. With net equity of $11.1 billion supporting $395 billion in assets, B.S. carried more leverage than a streetwalker’s push-up bra.

And during it all, Bear…
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Goldman’s Global Oil Scam Passes the 50 Madoff Mark!

$2.5 Trillion – That's the size of of the global oil scam.

It's a number so large that, to put it in perspective, we will now begin measuring the damage done to the global economy in "Madoff Units" ($50Bn rip-offs).  That's right – $2.5Tn is 50 TIMES the amount of money that Bernie Madoff scammed from investors in his lifetime, yet it is also LESS than the MONTHLY EXCESS price the global population is being manipulated into paying for a barrel of oil. 

Where is the outrage?  Where are the investigations? 

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BP, TOT, Shell, DB and Societe General founded the Intercontinental Exchange in 2000.  ICE is an online commodities and futures marketplace. It is outside the US and operates free from the constraints of US laws.  The exchange was set up to facilitate "dark pool" trading in the commodities markets.  Billions of dollars are being placed on oil futures contracts at the ICE and the beauty of this scam is that they NEVER take delivery, per se.  They just ratchet up the price with leveraged speculation using your TARP money. This year alone they ratcheted up the global cost of oil from $40 to $80 per barrel.

A Congressional investigation into energy trading in 2003 discovered that ICE was being used to facilitate "round-trip" trades.  Round-trip'' trades occur when one firm sells energy to another and then the second firm simultaneously sells the same amount of energy back to the first company at exactly the same price. No commodity ever changes hands. But when done on an exchange, these transactions send a price signal to the market and they artificially boost revenue for the company.  This is nothing more than a massive fraud, pure and simple.

"Traders of the the ICE core membership (GS, MS, BP, DB, RDS.A, GLE & TOT) wouldn't really have to put much money at risk by their standards in order to move or support the global market price via the BFOE market. Indeed the evolution of the Brent market has been a response to declining production and the fact that traders could not resist manipulating the market by buying up contracts and “squeezing” those who had sold oil they did not have. The fewer cargoes produced, the easier the underlying market is to manipulate." – Chris Cook,


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Phil's Favorites

Goldman Sachs Refuses to Say If It Was Placing Trades for Dallas Fed President Kaplan as Materially False Statement Released by Board on Kaplan's Relationship with Goldman Sachs

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C.

The biggest trading scandal in the Federal Reserve’s 108-year history took down two Federal Reserve Bank Presidents yesterday. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, who traded in and out of REITs last year in amounts of $1,000 to $50,000, will leave this Thursday; Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, whose trading made Rosengren look like a Boy Scout, will step down from his post at the e...



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Zero Hedge

Blain: The Threat Board Is Looking Busy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Bill Blain via MorningPorridge.com,

“Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”

Markets are never as bad as you fear, but never as good as you hope. The Threat Board has seldom looked so complex: we can try to predict outcomes, but its notoriously difficult. The list of potential ignition points seems to be expanding ex...



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Biotech/COVID-19

New Johnson & Johnson data shows second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19 - but one dose is still strong against delta variant

 

New Johnson & Johnson data shows second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19 – but one dose is still strong against delta variant

Public health officials have been waiting for good data before making any decisions about booster shots for people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Courtesy of Maureen Ferran, Rochester Institute of Technology ...



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Chart School

Silver during periods of Industrial Inflation

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

When industrial inflation is hotter than consumer inflation silver does well.

Previous Post: Silver, after the FED said taper talk is a long way off

In the chart below we see the relationship between silver and the yield curve and the Producer Price Inflation. 

The yield curve is the US 30 yr interest rate less the Fed Funds interest rate (blue line). When the blue line is high a steep yield curve is present, and when it is low a flat yield curve is present. A steep yield curve is when longer term rates are higher than short term rates vica versa for a flat yi...

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Digital Currencies

China Declares All Virtual Currency Transactions "Illegal", Sending Crypto Prices Tumbling

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

China expanded its escalating crackdown on cryptocurrencies on Friday when its central bank declared that all activities related to digital coins are “illegal” and must be banned.

In a statement dated Sept. 15 but was only posted onto the central bank’s website at 5 p.m. local time on Friday, the People’s Bank of China said the latest notice was to further prevent the risks surrounding crypto trading and to maintain national security and social stability.

Naming bitcoin, ether and tether as examples, the centra...



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Politics

'What Betrayal Looks Like': UN Report Says World on Track for 2.7°C of Warming by 2100

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

'What Betrayal Looks Like': UN Report Says World on Track for 2.7°C of Warming by 2100

"Whatever our so-called 'leaders' are doing," said Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, "they are doing it wrong."

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

The United Nations warned Friday t...



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Promotions

Phil's Interview on Options Trading with TD Bank

TD Bank's host Bryan Rogers interviewed Phil on June 10 as part of TD's Options Education Month. If you missed the program, be sure to watch the video below. It should be required viewing for anyone trading or thinking about trading using options. 

Watch here:

TD's webinar with Phil (link) or right here at PSW

Screenshots of TD's slides illustrating Phil's examples:

 

 

&n...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Cleared For Blast Off On This Dual Breakout?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Crude Oil about to blast off and hit much higher prices? It might be worth being aware of what could be taking place this month in this important commodity!

Crude Oil has created lower highs over the past 13-years, since peaking back in 2008, along line (1).

It created a “Double Top at (2), then it proceeded to decline more than 60% in four months.

The countertrend rally in Crude Oil has it attempting to break above its 13-year falling resistance as well as its double top at (3).

A successful breakout at (3) would suggest Crude Oil is about to mo...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider





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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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