Monday, May 19, 2008

The Flexible Friend.....Some Credit Card Data

Thank god the credit crisis and the recession that never started are already over.....But i assume it´s hard even for a bull trying to explain the already sky high delinquency rate.... Nice to see that the Fed ( just a few weeks ago ) and other central banks are willing to take the securitized credit card debt as collateral. Lets hope the haircut will be big enough and the way too often toxic waste won´t be rolled over indefintely.......... This post ECB Concerned Over Swap-O-Rama Exit Strategy from Mish is showing that there are already schemes in place to "design" securities to limit the haircut & to make them available as collateral . One more reason to be bullish on gold.... Especially when you take a look at this graph Federal Reserve Balance Sheet

Gottseidank ist die Kreditkrise und die nicht eingetroffenen Rezession bereits vorbei....... Dann aber sollten die bereits jetzt astronomischen Rückstandsraten bei den Kreditkarten selbst für die Daueroptimisten aber für noch mehr Beunruhigung sorgen. Immerhin ist es gut zu wissen das zur Not die Fed ( erst seit einigen Wochen ) und andere Zentralbanken auch die verbrieften Kreditkartenforderungen als Sicherheit akzeptieren. Bleibt nur zu hoffen das die angenommenen Risikoabschläge ausreichend sein werden und das diese oft fragwürdigen Papiere nicht auf alle Ewigkeit prolongiert werden ..... Wie dieses Posting ECB Concerned Over Swap-O-Rama Exit Strategy von Mish zeigt hat es nicht lange gedauert bis die Marktteilnehmer Strategien entwickelt haben um dieses System zu Ihren Gunsten zu nutzen. Wenn man das mit einem Blick auf die grafische Darstellung der FED Bilanz kombiniert hat man leicht einen gewichtigen Grund mehr langfristig eine bullishe Meinung zum Gold zu haben....UPDATE: Das paßt wie die Faust auf Auge.....Zentralbanken können auch bankrottgehen FAZ & Sind Verbraucherkredite der nächste Krisenherd? FT Deutschland
Credit-Card Firms May Look Alluring, But Threats Loom WSJ
The quickest way to pay top dollar for something you don't need is to make an impulse buy on your credit card. Investors eyeing shares in credit-card companies as a quick way to profit from an economic recovery should also resist the temptation to buy right now.

A growing feeling that stand-alone credit-card lenders will weather the economic slowdown has started to lift shares in firms like American Express Co., Discover Financial Services and Capital One Financial Corp.

But recent credit-card data indicate that none of the big card companies -- including the large card units at banks like Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. -- are in the clear. Rising defaults could weigh on earnings for longer than expected.

Since the credit crisis began, investors have expected rising charge-offs -- the term given for losses caused by defaults -- at credit-card companies. Two big negatives were identified: Job losses and, for many borrowers, a sharply reduced ability to use home-equity loans to pay off more expensive card balances.

Credit did deteriorate. Moody's Investors Service reports that, for the card lenders it tracks, the annualized charge-off rate -- which measures defaults as a percentage of loans outstanding -- rose to 6.05% in March from 4.64% a year earlier. The charge-off rate peaked at just over 7% during the 1991 and 2001 recessions, according to Moody's.

Credit-card bulls -- believing that a recession may be avoided -- think charge-offs won't go to recession highs. If so, firms like Capital One could look forward to sharply higher earnings as lower defaults would allow lenders to ease off on the expense of building their loan-loss reserves.

But two key data points indicate defaults climbing higher, not falling fast.

First, card borrowers are starting to pay back less of their outstanding balances each month. Analysts at Oppenheimer & Co. say that a sustained decline in the amount borrowers repay each month, compared with a year-earlier, can be a leading indicator that borrowers will start to fall behind on payments.

Oppenheimer calculates that, for the companies it covers, borrowers paid back 19% of their balance on average in April, down from 19.7% in the year-earlier period. American Express's borrowers paid down 23.8% of their balances in April, down from 25% a year ago, according to Oppenheimer. Conversely, Capital One borrowers paid down 18.5% of their balances last month, up from 17.6% a year earlier.

Also worrisome are data from Moody's suggesting that borrowers are finding it harder to become current on credit-card loans once they fall behind. The ratings firm notes that the amount of loans on which borrowers have skipped three or more payments has started to rise more quickly than loans that have missed one or two. Once borrowers are three payments behind, fewer of them ever catch up.

Federal Reserve data say revolving credit outstanding -- which tracks credit-card balances -- increased 6.7% in the first quarter, compared with the year-earlier period. Borrowers are taking on more debt to support spending through the slowdown.
It's a gamble for card companies to lend more to people who are turning to relatively expensive debt because they're cash strapped.

And it's a bad bet for investors to load up on the card companies taking that gamble.

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Anonymous eh said...

Ja, wirklich erstaunlich.

But regarding credit cards, you have to be careful to distinguish between who actually is on the hook for the credit card debt ('assets'), and who only provides billing and transaction services etc. For example, MA and V are service providers. Of course if transaction volumes decline, as is to be expected in a recession, then they will take a hit too.

I mention this because it is interesting how often you encounter people who seem confused about that.

1:10 AM  
Blogger jmf said...

Moin Eh,

i know. The run of V and MA is just ubelievable.

I assume lots of hot money has flown into the 2 only financial stocks without credit risk......

But they are not without risk...


Investors generally overlook "risk factors," as they are called. These can be found in all IPO prospectuses and 10-K annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is where the company is supposed to bend over backwards to tell you where the booby traps might be.

Much of it is boilerplate, but Visa's warnings go beyond mere boilerplate to some specific issues that could very well spook investors if and when they ever make it into the headlines.

Consider, for example, that the first eight pages of its risk factors are devoted to legal and regulatory matters. Most companies usually start with business risks, but with Visa -- and MasterCard -- the lawyers (and some politicians) have had a field day.

Perhaps the stickiest concern has to do with lawsuits, as Visa puts it, over the amount of money the credit-card companies charge merchants.

This has been a long-running feud. In preparation for an eventual settlement, Visa has put aside $3 billion of the $17.3 billion raised in the IPO to pay any possible claims. But (boilerplate alert!) the company acknowledges even that mightn't be enough.

The performance since the IPO is telling the complacency is once again very very high....

1:26 AM  

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