Deutsche Bank has never had as safe a balance sheet in the past two decades and there is no basis for media speculations on clients leaving. – DB CEO, John Cryan in Bloomberg
So John, are you willing to make those statements under oath? The funniest report I saw today was that Deutsche Bank gave Tesla a $300 million credit line to fund Tesla’s vehicle leasing program (LINK). No wonder DB is insolvent. It’s willing to lend against collateral that spontaneously combusts. Not to mention the fact that Tesla back-end loads the terminal value of its vehicles on its leases in order the minimize monthly lease payments. Whoever approved that deal at DB is smoking strong weed.
Rumors about Justice Department multi-billion dollar fine settlements do not fix big bank insolvency. DB was insolvent before the Justice Department mortgage securities fine was conceived. Any legal fines levied by any Government will end up in line with the rest of Deutsche Bank’s creditors. Unless, of course, Grandma Merkel and her band of merry thieves agree to bailout the technically bankrupt bank. But that won’t occur until DB stock is well below $10.
We saw this same trading with Enron, Bear Stearns and Lehman when those stocks approached $10. I was short and made a lot of money on Enron and Bear – and I held my shorts through rumor-driven bounces in the stock like the one propelling DB’s stock today.
This trading activity with the stock is designed to trigger aggressive short-cover buying which enables position-dumping by the big boys who are still heavily long DB stock. The rumor that drove DB stock over $13 was tweet from a French press agency which “confirmed” that the DB was near a settlement with the Justice Department for $5.4 billion instead of the original $14 billion levied. A short-while later the French press agency back-pedaled on the assertion.
The more relevant information to consider is the signal being flashed in the market for DB’s credit default swaps. The cost of insure DB’s junior bonds for one year surged to 625 basis points today. This inverted the “curve” for the cost to insure DB’s bonds, as the cost to insure the bonds for five years was 505 basis points. The same is true for one yr. vs. five yr. swaps on DB’s senior debt, which were trading at 270 basis points vs 241 basis points respectively: DB Stress Signal Reemerges – Bloomberg
A credit default swap the costs over 600 basis points to purchase is analogous to a triple-C rated U.S. corporate bond. Company’s with the “triple-hook” credit rating in the current insane financial system are semi-dead corpses with electric stimulation paddles being applied in an attempt restart the heart. These are bonds that have a greater than 70% chance of eventually defaulting. In other words, investors who are willing to pay over 600 basis points for one year of default protection on their DB junior bond position believe that the risk of DB defaulting in the next 12 months is exceptionally high.
If the German Government was not lurking in the background, these credit default swaps would be priced at well over 1000 basis points over the equivalent Treasury yield. On the other hand, DB CEO, John Cryan, stated on Friday that DB’s balance sheet is safer than at any point in the past two decades. That at least the third time DB liquidity rumors have been denied and we know what that means…
I don’t know if this reminds more of Jim Cramer pounding the table on Bear Stearns stock at $62 shortly before it plunged to $2 or Lehman CEO, Richard Fuld, proclaiming that Lehman had billions on highly liquid assets about 5 weeks of ahead of the stock plunging to near-zero (graphic from Zerohedge):