Posts Tagged ‘Rating Agencies’

Chinese Banks Face Default Risk on 23% of $1.1 Trillion Loans; Chinese Rating Agency Criticizes Moody’s, Fitch, S&P

Chinese Banks Face Default Risk on 23% of $1.1 Trillion Loans; Chinese Rating Agency Criticizes Moody’s, Fitch, S&P

Courtesy of Mish 

Here is an interesting pair of stories at odds with each other, the first article is about problem loans at Chinese banks, the second is about a rating agency mud fight.

Bloomberg reports Chinese Banks See Risks in 23% of $1.1 Trillion Loans

Chinese banks may struggle to recoup about 23 percent of the 7.7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) they’ve lent to finance local government infrastructure projects, according to a person with knowledge of data collected by the nation’s regulator.

About half of all loans need to be serviced by secondary sources including guarantors because the ventures can’t generate sufficient revenue, the person said, declining to be identified because the information is confidential. The China Banking Regulatory Commission has told banks to write off non-performing project loans by the end of this year, the person said.

The nation’s five-largest banks, including Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., plan to raise as much as $53.5 billion to replenish capital after the sector extended a record $1.4 trillion in credit last year.

“In China now, it is the same as the people getting loans in Phoenix here in the U.S. three years ago,” said Vikas Pershad, chief executive officer of Chicago-based Veda Investments LLC. “People who want money get money, and then they all lose track of it.”

Local governments set up the financing vehicles to fund projects such as highways and airports due to limits on their ability to directly borrow money. The central government this year restricted borrowing on concern money isn’t being used for viable projects.

“The issue is symptomatic of the way the stimulus package was rolled out in 2008,” said Nicholas Consonery, Asia specialist at the Eurasia Group. “It is difficult for local governments to finance these projects. It is written under the Chinese constitution that local governments cannot offer their own debt.”

Chinese Rating Agency Criticizes Moody’s, Fitch, S&P

The Financial Times reports China rating agency condemns rivals

The head of China’s largest credit rating agency has slammed his western counterparts for causing the global financial crisis and said that as the world’s largest creditor nation China should have a bigger say in how governments and their debt are rated.

“The western rating agencies are politicised and highly ideological and they


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Congratulations, You Idiots, You Broke the Bond Market

Congratulations, You Idiots, You Broke the Bond Market

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant

 pic credit: snphillips via Etsy

h/t WC Varones who beat me to it

It smells like Sarbanes-Oxley: a poorly thought-out, bureaucracy-heavy piece of garbage that inconveniences everyone but the legislators who want to get reelected by making it appear as though they are effectively doing their jobs. I’m waiting patiently for someone to say there is a PCAOB of rating agencies buried in this financial reform beast (I still have yet to read the entire thing but hey, I’m probably through more of it than the asshats who voted for it ever got) and not at all surprised to hear that it’s already creating unintended drama.

WSJ:

The nation’s three dominant credit-ratings providers have made an urgent new request of their clients: Please don’t use our credit ratings.

The odd plea is emerging as the first consequence of the financial overhaul that is to be signed into law by President Obama on Wednesday. And it already is creating havoc in the bond markets, parts of which are shutting down in response to the request.

Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings are all refusing to allow their ratings to be used in documentation for new bond sales, each said in statements in recent days. Each says it fears being exposed to new legal liability created by the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

The new law will make ratings firms liable for the quality of their ratings decisions, effective immediately. The companies say that, until they get a better understanding of their legal exposure, they are refusing to let bond issuers use their ratings.

I remind dear reader that Congress may appear absolutely clueless but actually knows more than we give them credit for. I’m fairly certain the jackasses who wrote the thing knew exactly what can of worms they were opening at the time.

WSJ continues:

That is important because some bonds, notably those that are made up of consumer loans, are required by law to include ratings in their official documentation. That means new bond sales in the $1.4 trillion market for mortgages, autos, student loans and credit cards could effectively shut down.

There have been no new asset-backed bonds put on sale this week, in stark contrast to last week, when


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THREE THINGS I THINK I THINK

THREE THINGS I THINK I THINK

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

  • Are the problems in Europe having a real impact on corporations yet?  Peter Boockvar at Miller Tabak has a smattering of opinions:
  • The new big question for the US economy is of course what impact the prospect of European weakness will have on our growth. While its still early on and thus uncertain what the impact will be, here are some comments today from some US co’s: “DOW ceo says seeing strong demand in Europe.” The ceo also said “China is still very robust.” “GM sees euro zone effect to be neutral.” Warren Buffet said “European crisis not yet threatening Berkshire.” Avnet, a large distributor of computer and related products, said at a conference today that they are not seeing any impact on demand right now from Europe.

    I expect to hear a lot of this during the upcoming earnings season.  CEO’s will be a bit more cautious, but I don’t think we’re anywhere near experiencing the sort of negativity that will put a serious damper on the upcoming earnings season.  On the other hand, with high second half expectations already built into estimates it should not be shocking to see a less than optimistic (or at least cautious) outlooks from most companies.

  • The hypocrisy of Warren Buffett just never ceases to amaze.  Regular readers know I think Buffett is one of the most misunderstood investors of all-time.  He has sold his folksy image to the American public and they’ve swallowed it up like it was a delicious Cherry Coke.   This time, Buffett is defending the ratings companies.  Meanwhile, FCIC Chairman Phil Agelides (and just about every other rational American) thinks the ratings agencies played a central role in misleading investors.  This fact is plain as day to anyone who doesn’t own millions of dollars worth of their stock.  This is the second major blow to the Buffett ego (and portfolio) in as many months (Goldman Sachs of course being the first).  Are investors beginning to see Buffett for what he truly is – just another Wall Street banker who just happens to live closer to a corn field than a skyscraper?
  • A reader recently asked me what I think of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  I wrote the following:

“The…
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Oracle Of Omaha Honors Subpoena

Oracle Of Omaha Honors Subpoena

International CEOs Attend Summit At Microsoft Campus

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

So much for "transparency", "fair dealing" and similar.

Warren Buffett was "invited" to testify before the FCIC today.  He declined. 

Now one must understand that when a Congressionally-authorized panel "invites" you to appear, you’re not really being asked.  Right behind said invitation, should you refuse, is nearly-always a subpoena.

Buffett, believing that he has no duty to actually talk about what happened (especially with the ratings agencies of which he has, until fairly recently, held a major stake in via Moody’s), decided to say "nuts" to the invitation.

That in turn led to a subpoena, as expected. 

True to form of a snubbed "King" (remember, there’s kings and there is everyone else – the law applies only to the "everyone else") Buffett has failed to provide any sort of prepared testimony in advance to the FCIC.  That’s a snub too – it is common practice, and considered good form, to provide a written document containing your opening testimony a day or two before you appear so that the panel is prepared to respond to the gist of your comments.

Buffett, of course, deigned to schedule an interview with Tout TV just before going on, it has been announced.  So rather than provide his testimony to the Congress, he will instead give it to CNBS and allow them to spin it into whatever they’d like just before going in the dock.

That’s nice.

The oligarchs are such a sniveling pack of frauds.  If there’s nothing to be disclosed of importance, why not show up at…
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Buffett Defends the Indefensible: Goldman Sachs and Rating Agencies; Goldman’s Sweetheart Deal With Buffett Revisited

Buffett Defends the Indefensible: Goldman Sachs and Rating Agencies; Goldman’s Sweetheart Deal With Buffett Revisited

Maria Shriver's 2008 Women's Conference

Courtesy of Mish

In the midst of the stock market crash, Warren Buffett got a great deal on Goldman Sachs preferreds. Those preferreds are making him $15 a second.

I do not fault Buffett one second for taking that deal. It seemed like a great deal at the time, and it was. The problem is, it’s important to distinguish between a deal good for his shareholders, and the integrity of Goldman Sachs.

Sadly, Warren Buffett is now caught in no man’s land, unable or unwilling to see the difference.

With that backdrop, please consider Buffett strongly defends Goldman; Berkshire net up.

Speaking at Berkshire’s annual meeting, Buffett also said Berkshire swung to a $3.63 billion first-quarter profit, compared with a year-earlier $1.53 billion loss, helped by an improving economy and gains from investments and derivatives.

Buffett said he did not hold against Goldman the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission civil fraud lawsuit alleging the bank hid from investors that securities underlying a risky debt transaction were chosen by Paulson & Co, a hedge fund firm that was betting they would lose value.

News that investigators opened a criminal probe into Goldman has led to increased speculation about Blankfein’s job security, but Buffett expressed strong support.

Asked who should run Goldman if Blankfein were replaced, Buffett said: "If Lloyd had a twin brother, I would vote for him. I have never given that a thought."

The $5 billion investment consists of preferred shares that throw off $500 million in annual dividends, plus warrants to buy an equal amount of common stock. Goldman can buy back, or "call," the preferreds at a premium.

GOLDMAN, DERIVATIVES

"We love the investment," Buffett said. "Our preferreds are paying $15 a second, so as we sit here, ‘Tick, tick, tick, tick,’ that’s $15 every second," he said.

Buffett added that the SEC lawsuit was not a serious enough event to raise reputational issues that would call into question the Berkshire investment.

That last sentence is complete nonsense at best. At worst it is a blatant lie.

Goldman’s reputation most assuredly has been called into question by the SEC. Moreover, Janet Tavakoli calls it into question every day of the week. So do many others. Arguably so did the the market, judging from its reaction.…
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The New York State Treasury Just Came Up $2 Billion Short, And Is Resorting To An Accounting Move To Avoid Insolvency

The New York State Treasury Just Came Up $2 Billion Short, And Is Resorting To An Accounting Move To Avoid Insolvency

clusterstock, governor PatersonCourtesy of Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock 

Ok, we got through the financial crisis. We’re getting through the European crisis. Jobs are coming back. Shippers are bringing boats back onto line because they’re seeing increased trade. 

Everything’s great.

BUT there’s one looming crisis, and that is the states.

According to The New York Times, Albany has just learned that state coffers are coming in $2 billion lighter than expected.

As such, in order to avoid default, the state will be delaying $500 million in income tax rebates. Governor Paterson says he "apologizes" for the inconvenience.

A question is: where are the ratings agencies pointing out the obvious, that New York State debt is hardly secure? Are they afraid of the cascade of sales from bullish muni fund managers forced to liquidate non-agency debt? Would they not be downgrading a company that suddently found itself $2 billion in the hole?

Please. 


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What’s Really Happening in Real Estate

See also my recent interview with a real estate developer whose thoughts are similar to those expressed in Michael’s article below. - Ilene

What’s Really Happening in Real Estate

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon

Vacancy Rates On Manhattan Commercial Space Rise Sharply

My friend George Ure, publisher of Urban Survival (and a related blog of the same name), as well as the Peoplenomics subscription newsletter, has posted an eye-opening commentary, "Coping: With What No One Wants To Say" (excerpted below), detailing industry insiders’ perspectives on what is really happening in the real estate market.

While the news that things aren’t getting any better in CRE and RRE won’t be much of a surprise to those who’ve actually been paying attention, it would seem to represent further evidence that the "experts" and powers that be in Washington and on Wall Street (along with their enablers in the mainstream media) are either liars, fools, or crack addicts — or some combination of all three:

Every so often, a group of major real estate developers get together for a conference where folks try to look ahead. In order to protect my source, I won’t tell you which real estate/developer conference it was, but I’ve been given permission by my source to post this high-level view of what the people who put up real dough to develop properties are seeing.  This is the info that I talked about with Jeff Rense on his radio program last night — Read it and weep:

"This week I attended the [serious players] fall conference. [serious players] is the top real estate industry group in the world. All the most senior people in the industry.

1. Not one expert was willing to predict what things will look like in 3 years other than they think it will be better.

2. One top economist said if you are a developer find another career for the next 3 years-there is nothing to do and it may be 5 years.

3. Recovery will be slow. Unemployment will not drop back to more normal levels until 2014. First they will bring back people on 4 day weeks to 5 days, then they will increase hours form the


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The Great American Bankruptcy

Here’s an excellent documentary video called "The Great American Bankruptcy."  H/t Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge, who h/tipped Ian.  William K. Black, a white collar criminologist, discusses the financial crisis and our pseudo-capitalistic fraud-ridden system. - Ilene

William Kurt Black is an American lawyer, academic, author, and a former bank regulator. Black’s expertise is in white-collar crime, public finance, regulation, and other topics in law and economics. He developed the concept of "control fraud", in which a business or national executive uses the entity he or she controls as a "weapon" to commit fraud.  

On April 3, 2009 Black appeared on "Bill Moyers Journal" on PBS and provided critical commentary on the U.S. banking crisis. In the interview with Bill Moyers, Black asserted that the banking crisis in the United States that started in late 2008 is essentially a big Ponzi scheme; that the "liar loans" and other financial tricks were essentially illegal frauds; and that the triple-A ratings given to these loans was part of a criminal cover-up.

More at Wikipedia here.  

 


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Calpers Sues The Rating Agencies For Bad Investment Advice

Tom Lindmark discusses the lawsuits resulting from losses due in part to rating agencies’ seemingly negligent advice. I don’t fully agree with his conclusion, though do in part – there’s plenty of responsibility to spread around, and a "day in court" is one way to divide it up. – Ilene

Courtesy of Tom Lindmark, BUT THEN WHAT?

Calpers Sues The Rating Agencies For Bad Investment Advice

rating agencies, lawsuits, bad advice

Just the first of many lawsuits of this type that will be coming down the pike but this one has some rich irony to it.

Calpers, the California retirement system manager, has filed suit against Moody’s, Standard & Poors and Fitch claiming that they are responsible for over $1 billion of losses it incurred in investments in structured investment vehicles which owned exotic financial assets.

From the NYT:

The suit from the California Public Employees Retirement System, or Calpers, a public fund known for its shareholder activism, is the latest sign of renewed scrutiny over the role that credit ratings agencies played in providing positive reports about risky securities issued during the subprime boom that have lost nearly all of their value.

The lawsuit, filed late last week in California Superior Court in San Francisco, is focused on a form of debt called structured investment vehicles, highly complex packages of securities made up of a variety of assets, including subprime mortgages. Calpers bought $1.3 billion of them in 2006; they collapsed in 2007 and 2008.

Calpers maintains that in giving these packages of securities the agencies’ highest credit rating, the three top ratings agencies — Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch — “made negligent misrepresentation” to the pension fund, which provides retirement benefits to 1.6 million public employees in California.

The AAA ratings given by the agencies “proved to be wildly inaccurate and unreasonably high,” according to the suit, which also said that the methods used by the rating agencies to assess these packages of securities “were seriously flawed in conception and incompetently applied.”

OK, that’s standard stuff and we will see a lot more of it. Who prevails is an open question, however, I think that if the tide does turn against the rating agencies then the legal actions are most likely money down a dry hole. There’s no way that the agencies have the funds to cover a wave of negative judgements. But here’s the most intriguing…
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Phil's Favorites

Peloton IPO Guide... And Why It Makes No Sense

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

By Scott Willis via Grizzle.com

BOTTOM LINE

At the end of the day, Peloton is a gym membership pretending to be a tech company.

We fully admit the product is exciting and unique in the market, but Peloton still faces the same problem...



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Zero Hedge

Peloton IPO Guide... And Why It Makes No Sense

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

By Scott Willis via Grizzle.com

BOTTOM LINE

At the end of the day, Peloton is a gym membership pretending to be a tech company.

We fully admit the product is exciting and unique in the market, but Peloton still faces the same problem...



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Digital Currencies

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

 

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Recent revelations about the lack of privacy protections in place at the companies involved in Facebook’s new Libra crytocurrency raise concerns about how much trust users can place in Libra. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Alfred Lehar, University of Calgary

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra.

The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with s...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Look Out Bears! Fed New QE Now Up to $165 Billion

Courtesy of Lee Adler

I have been warning for months that the Fed would need new QE to counter the impact of massive waves of Treasury supply. I thought that that would come later, rather than sooner. Sorry folks, wrong about that. The NY Fed announced another round of new TOMO (Temporary Open Market Operations) today.

In addition to the $75 billion in overnight repos that the Fed issued and has been rolling over since Tuesday, next week the Fed will issue another $90 billion. They’ll come in the form of three $30 billion, 14 day repos to be offered next week.

That brings the new Fed QE to a total of $165 billion. Even in the worst days of the financial crisis, I can’t remember the Fed ballooning its balance sheet by $165 bi...



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The Technical Traders

Is A Price Revaluation Event About To Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Skilled technical traders must be aware that price is setting up for a breakout or breakdown event with recent Doji, Hammer
and other narrow range price bars.  These types of Japanese Candlestick patterns are warnings that price is coiling into
a tight range and the more we see them in a series, the more likely price is building up some type of explosive price breakout/breakdown move in the near future.  The ES (S&P 500 E-mini futures) chart is a perfect example of these types of price bars on the Daily chart (see below).

Tri-Star Tops, Three River Evening Star patterns, Hammers/Hangmen and Dojis are all very common near extreme price peaks and troughs.  The rea...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

India About To Experience Major Strength? Possible Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

If one invested in the India ETF (INDA) back in January of 2012, your total 7-year return would be 24%. During the same time frame, the S&P 500 made 124%. The 7-year spread between the two is a large 100%!

Are things about to improve for the INDA ETF and could it be time for the relative weakness to change? Possible!

This chart looks at the INDA/SPX ratio since early 2012. The ratio continues to be in a major downtrend.

The ratio hit a 7-year low a few months ago and this week it kissed those lows again at (1). The ratio near weeks end is attempting to...



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Insider Scoop

10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Credit Suisse raised IHS Markit Ltd (NYSE: INFO) price target from $68 to $76. IHS Markit shares closed at $67.75 on Thursday.
  • Wedbush boosted Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc (NYSE: RH) price target from $170 to $185. RH shares closed at $169.49 on Thursday.
  • Mizuho lifted Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) price target from $46 to $50. Seagate shares closed at $52.94 on Thursday.
  • UBS raised the price target for Weight Watchers Intern...


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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

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In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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About Phil:

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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