Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bear Stearns' Subprime Bath

this is on top of the must read story from Mish about Bear Stearns. make sure you read this piece about "Wall Street at work" .......

das ganze paßt perfekt zu dem großartigen post von Mish über Bear Stearns. ich empfehle dringend sich das durchzulesen. perfektes beispiel wie an der wall street gearbeitet wird

Investors in a 10-month-old Bear Stearns (BSC) hedge fund are learning the hard way the danger of investing in risky bonds with borrowed money. The investment firm's High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund, as of Apr. 30, was down a whopping 23% for the year.

The situation is so bleak that Bear Stearns' asset management group is suspending redemptions at the onetime $642 million fund—meaning investors have no choice but to sit on their losses. And that's got some hopping mad.

> "no way out "..... :-)

"At the end of the day, I'd like someone to be honest with me about what's going on," says one investor in the hedge fund, which bet heavily on bonds backed by subprime mortgages, or home loans to consumers with shaky credit histories. An investor in Europe, who didn't want to be identified, says he's been trying to get his money out of the hedge fund since February.

No Questions.
He's particularly incensed that on a June 8 conference call the fund's managers set up to discuss performance, Bear Stearns officials refused to field investors' questions. "They specifically said they weren't taking any questions," says the investor. "They didn't want to say anything."...
Swift Decline
In fact, things deteriorated rather quickly at the fund. The hedge fund got off to a good start, posting a cumulative 4.44% return over its first four months, according to a Bear Stearns investor letter. But early this year the fund's performance began to suffer as the market for subprime mortgages began to implode. Coming into April, the fund was down 4% for the year.

Then things really fell apart. In April, the hedge fund posted an 18.97% decline, according to the June 7 letter obtained by BusinessWeek. But even more shocking than that big loss: only weeks earlier, the company had said it lost just 6.5% for April, according to a May 15 letter the firm sent fund investors. It's not clear what happened in those intervening weeks to force Bear Stearns to significantly revise upward its estimated April losses. ....

> see Everquest.......
Meanwhile, the poor performance of the 10-month-old "enhanced leverage" fund is another black eye for Bear Stearns' plans to roll out an initial public offering for its Everquest Financial affiliate. The investment firm created Everquest last fall, and filed documents on May 10 to sell a stake to the public (see BusinessWeek.com, 5/11/07, "Bear Stearns' Subprime IPO").
Bear Stearns' two hedge funds then sold some of their riskiest CDO investments to the new entity. .... Nearly two-thirds of Everquest's portfolio of CDOs were purchased from two hedge funds. In return, the hedge funds got $149 million in cash and 16 million shares, valued at $400 million, in the soon-to-be public company. But even that largesse from the Everquest deal wasn't enough to overcome the fund's poor April showing.

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