Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
Stock Market Rescued by the Fed Again? - 24th Sep 21
Are Amazon Best Cheap Memory Foam Mattresses Any good? Bedzonline £69 4ft Small Double ECO Example - 24th Sep 21
Evergrande not a Minsky Moment - 24th Sep 21
UK Energy Firms Scamming Customers Out of Their Best Fixed Rate Gas Tariffs - 23rd Sep 21
Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Should School Children be Jabbed with Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine To Foster Herd Immunity? - UK - 23rd Sep 21
HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON CAR INSURANCE - 23rd Sep 21
Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
Trading Crude Oil ETFs in Foreign Currencies: What to Focus On - 22nd Sep 21
URGENT - Crypto-trader event - 'Bitcoin... back to $65,000?' - 22nd Sep 21
Stock Market Time to Buy the Dip? - 22nd Sep 21
US Dollar Bears Are Fresh Out of Honey Pots - 22nd Sep 21
MetaTrader 5 Features Every Trader Should Know - 22nd Sep 21
Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment, Tip of the Ice Berg in Financial Crisis 2.0 - 21st Sep 21
The Fed Is Playing The Biggest Game Of Chicken In History - 21st Sep 21
Focus on Stock Market Short-term Cycle - 21st Sep 21
Lands End Cornwall In VR360 - UK Holidays, Staycations - 21st Sep 21
Stock Market FOMO Hits September CRASH Brick Wall - Dow Trend Forecast 2021 Review - 20th Sep 21
Two Huge, Overlooked Drains on Global Silver Supplies - 20th Sep 21
Gold gets hammered but Copper fails to seize the moment - 20th Sep 21
New arms race and nuclear risks could spell End to the Asian Century - 20th Sep 21
Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Dow Trend Forecast 2021 Review - 19th Sep 21
Dow Forecasting Neural Nets, Crossing the Rubicon With Three High Risk Chinese Tech Stocks - 18th Sep 21
If Post-1971 Monetary System Is Bad, Why Isn’t Gold Higher? - 18th Sep 21
Stock Market Shaking Off the Taper Blues - 18th Sep 21
So... This Happened! One Crypto Goes From "Little-Known" -to- "Top 10" in 6 Weeks - 18th Sep 21
Why a Financial Markets "Panic" May Be Just Around the Corner - 18th Sep 21
An Update on the End of College… and a New Way to Profit - 16th Sep 21
What Kind of Support and Services Can Your Accountant Provide? Your Main Questions Answered - 16th Sep 21
Consistent performance makes waste a good place to buy stocks - 16th Sep 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecasting Neural Nets Pattern Recognition - 15th Sep 21
Eurozone Impact on Gold: The ECB and the Phantom Taper - 15th Sep 21
Fed To Taper into Weakening Economy - 15th Sep 21
Gold Miners: Last of the Summer Wine - 15th Sep 21
How does product development affect a company’s market value? - 15th Sep 21
Types of Investment Property to Become Familiar with - 15th Sep 21
Is This the "Kiss of Death" for the Stocks Bull Market? - 14th Sep 21
Where Are the Stock Market Fireworks? - 14th Sep 21
Play-To-Earn Cryptocurrency Games Gain More and Is Set to Expand - 14th Sep 21
The CashFX TAP Platform - Catering to Bull Investors and Bear Investors Alike - 14th Sep 21
Why every serious investor should be focused on blockchain technology - 13th Sep 21
SPX Base Projection Reached – End of the Line? - 13th Sep 21
There are diverse ways to finance the purchase of a car - 13th Sep 21
6 Tips For Wise Investment - 13th Sep 21 - Mark_Adan

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

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

© 2005-2019 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