Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.The Gallery of Crowd Behavior: Goodbye Stock Market All Time Highs - Doug_Wakefieldth
2.Tesco Meltdown Debt Default Risk Could Trigger a Financial Crisis in Early 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
3.The Trend Every Nation on Earth Is Pouring Money Into - Keith Fitz-Gerald
4.Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Stock Market Crash? - 26Mike_Whitney
5.Could Tesco Go Bust? How to Save Tesco from Debt Bankruptcy Risk - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Gold And Silver Price - Respect The Trend But Prepare For A Reversal - Michael_Noonan
7.U.S. Economy Faltering Momentum, Debt and Asset Bubbles - Lacy Hunt
8.Bullish Silver Stealth Buying - Zeal_LLC
9.Euro, USD, Gold and Stocks According to Chartology - Rambus_Chartology
10.Evidence of Another Even More Sweeping U.S. Housing Market Bust Already Starting to Appear - EWI
Last 5 days
Stocks Bear Market Crash Towards New All Time Highs as QE3 End Awaits QE4 Start - 31st Oct 14
US Mortgages, Risky Bisiness "Easy Money" - 30th Oct 14
Gold, Silver and Currency Wars - 30th Oct 14
How to Recognize a Stock Market “Bear Raid” on Wall Street - 30th Oct 14
U.S. Midterm Elections: Would a Republican Win Be Bullish for the Stock Market? - 30th Oct 14
Stock Market S&P Index MAP Wave Analysis Forecast - 30th Oct 14
Gold Price Declines Once Again As Expected - 30th Oct 14
Depression and the Economy of a Country - 30th Oct 14
Fed Ends QE? Greenspan Says Gold “Measurably” “Higher” In 5 Years - 30th Oct 14
Apocalypse Now Or Nirvana Next Week? - 30th Oct 14
Understanding Gold's Massive Impact on Fed Maneuvering - 30th Oct 14
Europe: Building a Banking Union - 30th Oct 14
The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America's Grasp - 30th Oct 14
Don't Get Ruined by These 10 Popular Investment Myths (Part VIII) - 29th Oct 14
Flock of Black Swans Points to Imminent Stock Market Crash - 29th Oct 14
Bank of America's Mortgage Headaches - 29th Oct 14
Risk Management - Why I Run “Ultimate Trailing Stops” on All My Investments - 29th Oct 14
As the Eurozone Economy Stalls, China Cuts the Red Tape - 29th Oct 14
Stock Market Bubble Goes Pop - 29th Oct 14
Gold's Obituary - 29th Oct 14
A Medical Breakthrough Creating Stock Profits - 29th Oct 14
Greenspan: Gold Price Will Rise - 29th Oct 14
The Most Important Stock Market Chart on the Planet - 29th Oct 14
Mysterious Death od CEO Who Went Against the Petrodollar - 29th Oct 14
Hillary Clinton Could Be One of the Best U.S. Presidents Ever - 29th Oct 14
The Worst Advice Wall Street Ever Gave - 29th Oct 14
Bitcoin Price Narrow Range, Might Not Be for Long - 29th Oct 14
UKIP South Yorkshire PCC Election Win is Just Not Going to Happen - 29th Oct 14
Evidence of New U.S. Housing Market Real Estate Bust Starting to Appear - 28th Oct 14
Principle, Rigor and Execution Matter in U.S. Foreign Policy - 28th Oct 14
This Little Piggy Bent The Market - 28th Oct 14
Global Housing Markets - Don’t Buy A Home, You’ll Get Burned! - 28th Oct 14
U.S. Economic Snapshot - Strong Dollar Eating into corporate Profits - 28th Oct 14
Oliver Gross Says Peak Gold Is Here to Stay - 28th Oct 14
The Hedge Fund Rich List Infographic - 28th Oct 14
Does Gold Price Always Respond to Real Interest Rates? - 28th Oct 14
When Will Central Bank Morons Ever Learn? asks Albert Edwards at Societe General - 28th Oct 14
Functional Economics - Getting Your House in Order - 28th Oct 14
Humanity Accelerating to What Exactly? - 27th Oct 14
A Scary Story for Emerging Markets - 27th Oct 14
Could Tesco Go Bust? How to Save Tesco from Debt Bankruptcy Risk - 27th Oct 14
Europe Redefines Bank Stress Tests - 27th Oct 14
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Underway - 27th Oct 14
Why Do Banks Want Our Deposits? Hint: It’s Not to Make Loans - 26th Oct 14
Obamacare Is Not a Revolution, It Is Mere Evolution - 26th Oct 14
Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Stock Market Crash? - 26th Oct 14
Has the FTSE Stock Market Index Put in a Major Top? - 26th Oct 14
Christmas In October – Desperate Measures - 26th Oct 14
Stock Market Primary IV Continues - 26th Oct 14
Gold And Silver Price - Respect The Trend But Prepare For A Reversal - 25th Oct 14
Ebola Has Nothing To Do With The Stock Market - 25th Oct 14
The Gallery of Crowd Behavior: Goodbye Stock Market All Time Highs - 25th Oct 14
Japanese Style Deflation Coming? Where? Fed Falling Behind the Curve? Which Way? - 25th Oct 14
Gold Price Rebounds but Gold Miners Struggle - 25th Oct 14
Stock Market Buy the Dip or Sell the Rally - 25th Oct 14
Get Ready for “Stupid Cheap” Stock Prices - 25th Oct 14
The Trend Every Nation on Earth Is Pouring Money Into - 25th Oct 14 - Keith Fitz-Gerald
Bitcoin Price Decline Stopped, Possibly Temporarily - 25th Oct 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stocks Epic Bear Market

Bank of America, Merrill Bailout Disguised as Buyout?

Companies / Credit Crisis 2008 Sep 15, 2008 - 09:12 AM GMT

By: Mike_Stathis

Companies Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleBank of America's buyout of Merrill Lynch seemed laughable to me - that is until I realized the full picture. With a $50 billion all-stock deal valued at $29 per share, at first glance it might appear that Bank of America doesn't stand to lose much considering its stock is at least 50% overvalued by my analysis. However, even at an adjusted price of $25 billion, Bank of America will be responsible for absorbing all of Merrill's losses. Good luck. But wait. They don't need luck, they have the Fed.


I could care less about Merrill's 49% stake in Blackrock. No financial institution is infallible under these conditions and only an idiot would rush in to buy Merrill at $50 billion. They are on the hook for a huge amount of mortgage securities. And their brokerage unit has been fighting a massive decline for years. In fact, I expected them to eventually sell it off.

While I can guarantee you all bank CEOs are lost in the woods, Bank of America's CEO, Kenneth Lewis can't be that stupid. Think about it. Lewis already committed to a buyout of troubled Countrywide well before he realized how bad things would get. How much blind risk can Bank of America handle? A lot if they are given a blank check by the Fed. And the fact is that they have been, along with the rest of the banking cartel. I'm quite confident Lewis was approached by the Fed and U.S. Treasury with promises of extra assistance, if needed, in exchange for buying Merrill. That is precisely why the bank offered a 70% premium for the struggling firm. Think about it. Merrill was on its way to single digits so why not wait? Better yet, why offer a 70% premium to its Friday closing price? This is the worst banking crisis in U.S. history and they're offering 70% premiums?

It appears as if we are witnessing government bailouts using taxpayer money that are being deceitfully disguised as buyouts. Not just with the Merrill buyout but also this newly established $70 billion emergency bank fund, set aside to help out banks with future problems. Where do you think this money is coming from? The banks certainly don't have it. It is coming indirectly either from the Fed or the U.S. Treasury. That is precisely why the Fed just opened up the types of securities for Schedule 2 auctions that can be used as collateral for borrowing from the Term Securities Lending Facility. Now all investment-grade securities can be pledged. In addition, the amounts auctioned have been increased by $25 billion to $200 billion. The problem is that what may be investment-grade today could easily become junk next week. In fact, as I have stated in the past, we are going to see a huge junk bond market soon. Already, corporate defaults are soaring.

You see, the banking cartel – the guys that own the Federal Reserve – have been given a blank check and will make it through this crisis. JP Morgan Chase is already dealing with Bear Stearns so now it was time to ask Bank of America to take over Merrill. And while the money might not be coming directly from the U.S. Treasury, what's the difference? Anyone holding dollars is getting screwed because all of this extra printing is destroying the currency.

I recall reading Friday an analyst form Citigroup stating Merrill's “liquidity position is strong and that exposure to volatile businesses is lower relative to its peers.” http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/article.asp..

If that's the case, then it looks like all the banks are on the verge of complete failure. When are these analysts going to stop with their lies? By now, we should come to expect the Friday close of the next bank failure.

Now, let me show you an excerpt from a June 25, 2008 article I wrote http://seekingalpha.com/article/82623..I want you to focus on the section titled, “A Final Word of Caution”….

  “Those of you looking to make easy money in the financials like E-Trade (ETFC) need to think again. The risk is too high right now. I find it amazing how so many who have taken a long position in ETFC cite the company's impressive book value as some sign of value or financial strength. Understand that book value is used in the event of liquidation of assets in bankruptcy and therefore usually has no impact for common stock holders. In addition, book values of financials are meaningless since the banks have overvalued their debt. Finally, book values typically have no way of fully accounting for the type of massive leverage the banks have built. If you were not aware of these basic facts, you really need to sit this one out, save your cash and wait for the next bull market, when nearly everyone does well.

Even Citibank (C) has considerable downside from here, as does Bank of America (BAC). Over the past year, I have made many recommendations to short the financials. Earlier in the year, my attention was focused on Lehman Brothers (LEH) and American International Group (AIG). The story on these guys is far from over but I would wait for a rally before going short again. The next short to consider will be Merrill Lynch (MER). When MBIA (MBI) and Ambac (ABK) get another downgrade, MER will be in deep trouble due to their large exposure to insured mortgage debt. That said, you might be wondering why MER is already near a year low. It's quite simple. All that I have told you about Merrill's risks is widely known. But that does not mean it can't go lower. However, unless you are very experienced with shorting, you need to stay away from this strategy.

Will there ever be a time to pick up the financials? I doubt I will bother to pick up any of these (other than for short-term trading) even when I sense the bottom has been reached because the climb back up is going to be very slow and small. The dilution that has and will continue to occur will crush earnings for many years.”

So which major bank will be next to go under? Whatever bank that ends up being, Citigroup is certainly in no shape to help out. Even with the Fed's printing presses they are going to struggle to survive. Most likely, Citi will sell off a few of its businesses before it's all over. So the question is, which member of the banking cartel will be asked to step in and buy Washington Mutual.

By Mike Stathis
mike@apexva.com

Copyright © 2008. All Rights Reserved. Mike Stathis.

Mike Stathis is the Managing Principal of Apex Venture Advisors , a business and investment intelligence firm serving the needs of venture firms, corporations and hedge funds on a variety of projects. Mike's work in the private markets includes valuation analysis, deal structuring, and business strategy. In the public markets he has assisted hedge funds with investment strategy, valuation analysis, market forecasting, risk management, and distressed securities analysis. Prior to Apex Advisors, Mike worked at UBS and Bear Stearns, focusing on asset management and merchant banking.

The accuracy of his predictions and insights detailed in the 2006 release of America's Financial Apocalypse and Cashing in on the Real Estate Bubble have positioned him as one of America's most insightful and creative financial minds. These books serve as proof that he remains well ahead of the curve, as he continues to position his clients with a unique competitive advantage. His first book, The Startup Company Bible for Entrepreneurs has become required reading for high-tech entrepreneurs, and is used in several business schools as a required text for completion of the MBA program.

Restrictions Against Reproduction: No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner and the Publisher. These articles and commentaries cannot be reposted or used in any publications for which there is any revenue generated directly or indirectly. These articles cannot be used to enhance the viewer appeal of any website, including any ad revenue on the website, other than those sites for which specific written permission has been granted. Any such violations are unlawful and violators will be prosecuted in accordance with these laws.

Requests to the Publisher for permission or further information should be sent to info@apexva.com

Books Published
America's Financial Apocalypse: How to Profit from the Next Great Depression . Condensed Ed. Copyright © 2007.
Cashing in on the Real Estate Bubble . Copyright © 2006.
America's Financial Apocalypse: How to Profit from the Next Great Depression . Copyright © 2006.
The Startup Company Bible for Entrepreneurs: The Complete Guide to Building Successful Companies and Raising Venture Capital . Copyright © 2004 and 2005.

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

Mike Stathis Archive

© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

sdh
15 Sep 08, 23:24
No Print Out Option??

Your website is a great read but unfortunately most of us investors don't have the time to read the articles on screen. We prefer to PRINT OUT the articles (minus the ads) in a simple, take away format for reading at our own discretion.

This is an essential part of any good website that focuses on content as it base.

Please provide a PRINT OUT button for all to enjoy!


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014