Tag Archives: banking collapse

JP Morgan Insider Rats Dumping Shares As Bank Ups Buyback

After it was announced that the Fed gave the big banks a pass on their “stress” test, the TBTFs announced huge dividend and share buyback plans:

If the banks had properly marked to market their Level 3 assets and some of their riskiest non-Level 3 assets, would they have still passed the Fed stress test, which essentially places a stress-test “bar” on the ground and lets the banks step over it? Probably not. This would explain why JPM insiders have been dumping shares en masse over the last three months:

The “buys” are deceptive because those “buys” are the exercising of compensation options. The most aggressive sellers have been CEO/Chairman, Jamie Dimon; General Counsel, Stacey Friedman (hmmm…); and CFO, Marianne Lake (hmmm…).

With JP Morgan’s announced 90% increase in its share buyback program, the shares will have an even bigger bid in the market from shareholders into which insiders can dump.

The question is – rhetorical, of course – why would these insiders be dumping shares if the outlook for the Company’s earnings, stock price and financial condition was positive?

Deutsche Bank Burns – Silver Is The Trade Of The Decade

If I’m right and this is the start of what happened starting in late Oct.2008, guys like Bron and [Jeffrey] Christian and Trader Dan are going to end up looking like the biggest assholes in the world.  Although I think that trip is booked and the train has already left the station, no matter what the price of gold does.  – comments from me to some long-time colleagues

Deutsche Bank management spent Tuesday and Wednesday trying to make the case that it had plenty of liquidity and a gameplan to address structural issues.  They threw the hail Mary yesterday when they announced the possibility of using available “liquidity” to repurchase a few billion euros worth of senior bonds.  I have quotes around “liquidity” because, as I outlined in my blog post about this yesterday, DB is technically insolvent.

What has unfolded this week at the zombie bank is almost exactly the path to collapse taken by Bear Stearns.  In fact, just like he did with Bear Stearns when he issued a table-pouding, booyah screaming buy on Bear Stearns about two weeks before it collapsed, Jim Cramer was out earlier this week telling investors not to worry about Deutsche Bank and that, “the European banks have a plan. The government has a plan…This is not 2008, because they learned from 2008.”

Cramer has proved to be a remarkably accurate contrarian indicator on stocks just ahead of a collapse in price.  DB stock has already partially collapsed since August, falling more than 50% since then.

If you want to dismiss my view, that’s fine.  But ignoring the action in the credit default swaps is a big mistake.  The CDS on DB’s subordinated debt have gone parabolic, jumping to a spread over Treasuries of well over 500 basis points today.   Over the past week, the CDS spread on both the senior and subordinated debt of DB has gone parabolic.  This is the clearest possible signal, other than the truth from upper management, that DB is on the ropes.

CDS investors are among the smartest in the market because they tend to be closest to the real inside information at banks.   I know this because when I traded junk bonds which, prior to the proliferation of CDS, were the “smartest” eyes in the market, our desk was right next to the bank debt trading desk.  The bank debt crew always had access to internal numbers on the companies they traded.  We were very tight with the bank debt traders, if you know what I mean.

This leads me  to silver. I’l be going on record tomorrow in a podcast with Silver Doctors that silver is the trade of the decade.   Also, the LBMA silver fraud fix was the cartel’s last gasp effort to grab as much physical silver as cheaply as possible.  That silver fix event was outright theft of silver from the sellers of physical silver on the LBMA that day.

I believe, just an educated guess, that the accumulation of silver was out the necessity to make deliveries under paper obligations –  LBMA contracts, Comex futures, OTC derivatives.  I believe the looming shortage in physical silver is worse than in physical gold and last summer was an omen of what’s coming.

The ratio of price appreciation in today’s trading for gold:silver is 95:1.  A normalized GSR is 16 or lower.  The GSR hit 32 when silver was approaching its top in 2011.  My point here is that they are throwing the kitchen sink at silver right now to keep the price down as much as possible in order to limit the potential damage that is going to occur to the banking entities that are perilously short paper silver, while their counterparties are starting to pound on “the door” looking for deliveries.

We are likely transitioning into the third and final leg of the precious metals bull market.  I believe that the smart money will eschew all fiat currencies and move their capital into the best possible contra-fiat currency asset:  gold and silver.  Today, for instance, the dollar is down on a day when typically the dollar is used as a flight to safety.  Gold is up $60.   The smart money will get the train wheels rolling and the retail crowd will pile on about 2/3 of the way through the ride, paying extraordinary premiums to get physical gold and silver in their hands.

All fiat currencies are backed by nothing but promises from Governments that are leveraged up to their eyeballs.   Physical gold and silver do not have any counterparty risks as long as you do not buy them on margin and keep them in a custodial account.  The margin risk is obvious, for most people the custodial risk is non-obvious but very real.  Just ask the traders who owned physical silver in MF Global’s Comex warehouse account…

Dave, I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the JPM silver “horde” doesn’t exist and that they’ve screwed clients ala Morgan Stanley (the only mega investment bank to have been officially busted in the last 50+ years for not having customer precious metal in allocated and segregated accounts).  Ted Butler et al. have this wrong too.   It’s not clear how much fraud we’re talking about, but hey, we’re talking JPM.  – a well known market analyst and blog host and silver market expert

Will Deutsche Bank Be Saved From Collapse?

Deutsche Bank  stock is down over 8% today.  It’s trading at $15.53.  This is 20% lower than the previous low it hit at the apex of the great financial crisis (de facto collapse) in 2008/2009.Untitled

With rumors flying because of DB’s stock performance this year, management issued a statement defending the bank’s liquidity position:  LINK   “Additional Tier 1 coupons” references the debt that was issued as part of a transaction to raise Tier 1 regulatory capital by Deustche Banks.  The accounting behind the scheme – yes, it’s a scheme – is complicated but the regulators permitted DB is issue a security that behaves like debt but is treated as Tier 1 capital for the purposes of measuring the bank’s ability to withstand hits to its asset base.

Suffice it to say that historically, when a bank has been forced to issue a statement defending its solvency, insolvency is not far behind.  We saw this with Bear Stearns and Lehman.  Denial of a catastrophic problem is affirmation that the problem is very real.

Typically the credit markets sniff out a very real problem before the equity market “catches up.”   Deutsche Bank has emerged as one of the most recklessly managed “Too Big To Fail” banks.  Under Anshu Jain’s “leadership,”  DB became a financial nuclear weapon bloated on derivatives, exceedingly risky assets and highly corrupt upper management.  It’s a literal cesspool of financial fraud and Ponzi scheme banking activity.  The graph of the spread on DB 5-yr credit default swaps shows how quickly the market has determined that DB’s financial risk of insolvency is quickly accelerating:

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Currently DB has roughly $2 trillion assets supported by $68 billion of book value.  The problem is that many of its assets are highly overstated in value and have yet to be written down.  The financial world shuddered at the $7 billion of admitted write-offs DB took in 2015.  The problem is that over 85% of the charges taken by DB were attributed to legal costs.  We know its “on-balance-sheet” assets are being reported at a significantly overvalued stated level.  DB has big loans to the energy sector, Glencore, Volkswagon/Audi and other sundry highly risky businesses.   It would only take a 3.5% write-down of its asset base to wipe out its book value.  

THEN there’s the derivatives.  DB has $58 trillion of notional amount in OTC derivatives hidden off its balance sheet.  The bank will claims most of that is hedged out and the “netted” amount is a sliver of the notional amount.  But ask AIG and Goldman Sachs how hedging / netting works out in the long run.   “Netting” is only relevant when counterparties are prevented by Central Banks from defaulting.  Once the defaults start, “net” becomes “notional” in a hurry.

I did an analysis of several of the big banks in early 2008, including JP Morgan, Wash Mutual, and Lehman.  I took their identifiable assets and wrote down the identifiable home equity loan exposure and some other risky asset classes to levels I thought were conservative.  I had concluded that those banks were technically insolvent.    Eight months later it turned out I my analysis was quite accurate.  Wash Mutual and Lehman collapsed and JP Morgan would have collapsed if it had not been bailed out by the Taxpayers.

The current era’s first big bank casualty will likely be Deutsche Bank, unless the German Government and the EU and U.S. Central Banks determine that a DB collapse would collapse the west, which it likely would.  To put this in perspective, DB’s stated assets are $2 trillion. Germany’s GDP is just under $4 trillion.   Then there’s the derivatives…