Monday, November 05, 2007

As clear as alphabet soup: banks’ CDO exposures

I think the term "Black Box" is not an understatement....... Maybe some still think their exposue is hedged via MBIA & Co. Good luck...... I also suggest to read From level three to cloud nine from Roubini via the FT & the take from Mish. Keep this in mind when some "experts" are still hyping the high dividend yield and the strong balance sheets.......

Ich denke hier trifft der Begriff der Black Box ziemlich genau ins Schwarze....... Evtl. haben ja einige Ihre Bestände auch durch MBIA & Co abgesichert und sind daher der Meinung nicht tätig werden zu müssen. Viel Glück........ Zudem solltet Ihr Euch From level three to cloud nine von Roubini via der FT und die Beurteilung von Mish nicht entgehen lassen. Behaltet diese Zahlen im Hinterkopf und schaltet am besten die Glotze ab und überspringt den Artikel in denen immer noch auf die starken Bilanzen und die hohen Dividenden hingewiesen wird.....


As clear as alphabet soup: banks’ CDO exposures / FT
Forget the banks’ Q3s. By any account, they’re billions of dollars out of date. For banks holding CDOs - and that’s most of Wall Street - writedowns will have greatly increased in the past three weeks.

The trouble is, no one, not even the SEC, knows exactly what banks’ exposures are. But the losses are beginning to come out of the woodwork: for Citi, in the news Monday, a $8bn-$10bn loss on the value of some assets. For Merrill Lynch, last week, it worked out at $8bn. For UBS, reporting their Q3s last week, $3.4bn.

Citi have painted the most comprehensive picture to date. But rather than making things clearer, it simply casts doubt on the other banks’ disclosures. Citi, for example, are reporting $8-10bn writedowns on a portfolio containing $10bn of high-grade CDO paper - which has been the principal faller in the past two weeks. But UBS only report writedowns of $3.4bn. And they hold $20bn of high-grade CDO paper.

There are very few proxies which can be used to judge banks’ CDO holdings. Even a league table of CDO deals arranged is a pretty poor indicator:

CDO league table

An added complication is the fact that banks are using wildly different estimates on the pricing of CDO assets. Although indices such as the ABX and TABX are valuable proxies for the market’s prices as a whole, they don’t necessarily reflect where banks individually are pricing their debt.

As reported in today’s FT, for example, Merrill Lynch, has written down mid-quality ABX debt to 63 cents in the dollar, even though the bank’s own analysts say its worth only 40. UBS, meanwhile, assumes the same debt to be worth 90 cents in the dollar. “Simple math would imply that UBS needs an additional $8bn write-down [on its $15.4bn holdings] if the ABX pricing is correct,” Merrill themselves had the cheek to point out in a report on their rival.
Here’s a breakdown of the main CDO exposures:

Citi
$10bn senior rated CDO debt
$8bn mezzanine CDO debt
$2.7bn “warehoused” CDOs
£200m CDO squared


Merrill Lynch
$8.3bn senior rated CDO debt
$5.3bn mezzanine CDO debt
$1bn “warehoused” CDO debt
$600m CDO squared


UBS
$20.2bn senior rated CDO debt
$1.8bn warehoused CDO debt

Total exposure undisclosed:

Bank of America
Undisclosed

Barclays
Q3s due November 27

Deutsche
$1.6bn on “trading activities in relative value trading in both debt and equity, CDO correlation trading and residential mortgage-backed securities.”

JPMorgan
$339m (net of hedges) “on collateralized debt obligation (CDO) warehouses and unsold positions.”

Lehman Brothers
Undisclosed

Morgan Stanley
Undisclosed

Wachovia
$534m writedown on CDOs


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3 Comments:

Blogger jmf said...


Bond Buyers Are Losing Confidence

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, what a surprise.

The rating agencies clearly cannot be trusted either; that situation, i.e. their complicity in the misrating of a lot of CDOs etc in the pursuit of further business, reminds me of the mixing between analysts and investment banking in the late '90s, just before the dot com crash.

eh

3:47 AM  
Blogger jmf said...

Mahlzeit Eh,

i think we have seen nothing yet....

Looking at gold it seems more and more people realize what is coming sooner or later.......

Havn´t heard too many people dissing gold lately :-)

4:00 AM  

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