• Tag Archives Bondholders
  • Puerto Rico’s Housing Debt Likely To Be Paid In Full (Opposed to PR’s General Obligation and Agency Debt)

    Puerto Rico is seeking to reduce $74 billion of debt, but Federal housing bonds may be paid in full. Thanks to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
    (Bloomberg) – While Puerto Rico and its agencies seek to reduce $74 billion of debt in a record bankruptcy, commonwealth bonds repaid with federal housing money and tobacco settlement funds may dodge a restructuring, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
    After Puerto Rico first began defaulting on its obligations two years ago, a federal oversight board on May 3 sought for the commonwealth a form of bankruptcy called Title III. There are six entities remaining that have yet to miss payments to investors. Of those, debt sold by Puerto Rico’s Housing Finance Authority and the Children’s Trust Fund may avoid asking bondholders to accept losses on their securities, Ted Hampton, a Moody’s analyst, wrote in an Aug. 9 report.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 10, 2017.

  • Are More Bankruptcies Next for US Shale Oil Drillers?

    Something that’s been whispered about in the last few months is now being talked about loudly: U. S. oil drillers’ debts. There have been a few notable warnings that shale boomers might want to slow down their production boost lest they bring on another price crash, but the truth seems to be that they can’t do it: they have debts to service.
    Now that international oil prices are once again on a downward spiral, drillers are facing a new challenge, according to Bloomberg: their bondholders are no longer optimistic.
    Shareholders were the first to start doubting the recovery as it became increasingly evident that OPEC’s production cut agreement is failing to have the effect that everyone – or almost everyone – expected. Energy stocks have generally been on a slide since the start of the year.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Jul 18, 2017.

  • Schaeuble Says Italy Bank-Liquidation Aid Shows Rule Discord

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble joined his counterparts from the Netherlands and Austria in calling for a review of European Union bank-failure rules after Italy won approval to pour as much as 17 billion ($19.4 billion) of taxpayers’ cash into liquidating two regional lenders.
    Schaeuble said Italy’s disposal of Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA and Veneto Banca SpA revealed differences between the EU’s bank-resolution rules and national insolvency laws that are ‘difficult to explain.’ That’s why finance ministers convening in Brussels on Monday have to discuss the Italian cases and consider ‘how this can be changed with a view to the future,’ he told reporters in Brussels before the meeting.
    Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the focus should be on E.U. state-aid rules for banks that date from 2013, before the resolution framework was put in place. Italy relied on these rules for its state-funded liquidation of the two Veneto banks and its plan to inject 5.4 billion into Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA.
    The E.U. laid down new bank-failure rules in the 2014 Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive after member states provided almost 2 trillion to prop up lenders during the financial crisis. The BRRD foresees small banks going insolvent like non-financial companies. Big ones that could cause mayhem would be restructured and recapitalized under a separate procedure called resolution, in which losses are borne by owners and creditors, including senior bondholders if necessary.

    This post was published at bloomberg

  • The Death of the European Banking Union

    In early June, the failure of the Spanish bank Banco Popular seemed to work smoothly under the new European resolution rules. The relatively new Banking Union seemed to work in achieving its goal to limit moral hazard. Losses were imposed upon junior bondholders and shareholders whereas Spanish taxpayers did not pay a dime. Although there are many defects with the new resolution framework, it seemed to be a step in the right direction. This impression was short lived and died when the Italian government agreed to use 17 billion of taxpayer’s money for two failed banks, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, in late June. Thus, Italian senior bondholders will be protected despite the philosophy of the new bail-in framework according which bondholders shoulder losses if a bank fails. Consequently, the two banks’ senior bond prices rose by more than 15% on Monday.
    What is the Banking Union? After the 2007 financial crisis and during the 2010 – 2012 debt crisis, the European banking sector was weakened to a considerable extent. Consequently, the European Central Bank (ECB) and national governments made an extensive use of bail-outs to stabilize the banking sector. As an unintended consequence, the liquidity and capital provided to banks meant that the financial position of both the monetary authorities and the national governments deteriorated and the incentives for banks to act prudently were distorted.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 4, 2017.

  • Many European Banks Would Collapse Without Regulators’ Help: Fitch

    Only two things keep these banks alive: ‘a State willing to support them and a regulator that does not declare them insolvent.’
    Dozens of Greek, Italian, Spanish and even German lenders have volumes of troubled assets higher or similar to that of Spain’s fallen lender Banco Popular. They, too, are at risk of insolvency. This stark observation came fromBridget Gandy, director of financial institutions for Fitch Ratings, who spoke at a conference in London on Thursday.
    The troubled banks include:
    Greece’s HB, Piraeus, NBG, Eurobank and Alpha; Italy’s Monte dei Pachi di Siena (which is in the process of being rescued with state funds), Carige (9th largest bank, now under ECB orders to raise capital or else), CreVal, and the two collapsed banks, Veneto and Vicenza (whose senior bondholders were bailed out last weekend); Germany’s Bremer Landesbank (which just cancel interest payments on its CoCo bonds) and shipping lender HSH Nordbank. Spain’s Liberbank and majority state-owned BMN and Bankia, which are completing a merger after private-sector institutions refused to buy BMN. Now, the problems on BMN’s balance sheet belong to Bankia, which already has its own set of issues, Gandy said.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jul 1, 2017.

  • Autopsy of Banco Popular Shows Fragility of EU Banking System

    What would a disorderly bank collapse in Spain and Italy have done?
    By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
    New information has revealed just how serious a threat a disorderly collapse of Spain’s sixth largest bank, Banco Popular, might have posed to Spain’s banking system. In its final days, Popular was bleeding deposits at a rate of 2 billion a day on average.
    Much of the money was being withdrawn by institutional clients, including global mega-fund BlackRock, Spain’s Social Security fund, Spanish government agencies, and city and regional councils, prompting accusations that Spain’s government was using insider knowledge to withdraw large amounts of public funds, which of course hastened Popular’s demise.
    All the while, Spain’s Economy Minister was telling the bank’s less privileged investors, including retail shareholders and junior bondholders, that there was absolutely nothing to worry about. Those that believed him lost everything.
    Between the end of March and its last day of trading, Popular shed 18 billion of deposits, roughly a quarter of the total. On the night of June 6, Europe’s Single Supervisory Mechanism decided that the bank could no longer cover its collateral. Popular, warts and all (take note, Italy), was sold for the meager sum of 1 to Banco Santander, though Santander will have to raise 7 billion of fresh capital to fully digest the bad stuff on Popular’s books.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Jun 29, 2017.

  • Emerging Market Debt Risk Tumbles To 10-Year Lows, But…

    A serial deadbeat (Argentina) got investors to buy 100-year bonds, Sri Lanka’s latest debt sale was oversubscribed by 10 times, tiny Belarus is poised to issue eurobonds, and even Papua New Guinea, the impoverished Pacific Island nation, is planning its overseas debut in the second half of the year.
    But, as Bloomberg reports, that’s just a small sampling of the risks emerging-market investors have started taking, even as yields remain relatively thin.
    But there’s more: defaulted notes from Mozambique are among the best performers in 2017. The Maldives, a tiny nation in the Indian Ocean, sold its first international bond earlier this month. And Ecuador, where the former president disparaged bondholders as ‘true monsters’ when he defaulted in 2008, had no trouble raising $3 billion.
    Century bonds in EM are still rare, but have become more popular as global yields have collapsed…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 23, 2017.

  • Fear of Contagion Feeds the Italian Banking Crisis

    At first, deny, deny, deny. Then taxpayers get to bail out bondholders.
    By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
    Spain’s Banco Popular had the dubious honor of being the first financial institution to be resolved under the EU’s Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, passed in January 2016. As a result, shareholders and subordinate bondholders were ‘bailed in’ before the bank was sold to Santander for the princely sum of one euro.
    At first the operation was proclaimed a roaring success. As European banking crises go, this was an orderly one, reported The Economist. Taxpayers were not left on the hook, as long as you ignore the 5 billion of deferred tax credits Santander obtained from the operation. Depositors and senior bondholders were spared any of the fallout.
    But it may not last for long, for the chances of a similar approach being adopted to Italy’s banking crisis appear to be razor slim. The ECB has already awarded Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) a last-minute reprieve, on the grounds that while it did not pass certain parts of the ECB’s last stress test, the bank is perfectly solvent, albeit with serious liquidity problems.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jun 16, 2017.

  • Illinois Bond Spreads Explode As Market Pukes On Latest Batch Of Bad News

    On June 1, first S&P the Moody’s almost concurrently downgraded Illinois to the lowest non-Junk rating, BB+/Baa3 respectively, with both rating agencies warning that the ongoing legislative gridlock and budget crisis need to be resolved, or else Illinois will be the first ever US state downgraded to junk status.
    S&P analyst Gabriel Petek explicitly warned that “the unrelenting political brinkmanship now poses a threat to the timely payment of the state’s core priority payments” and warned about Illinois’ inability to pass a budget for the past two years amid a clash between the Democrat-run legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. As we have documented previously, the ongoing confrontation has left the fifth most-populous US state with a record $14.5 billion of unpaid bills, ravaged entities like universities and social service providers that rely on state aid and undermined Illinois’s standing in the bond market, where investors have demanded higher premiums for the risk of owning its debt.
    Bypassing its traditional 90-day review, a terse S&P also warned that Illinois will likely be downgraded around July 1, when the new fiscal year begins if leaders haven’t agreed on a budget that starts addressing the state’s chronic deficits.
    Unfortunately for Illinois, and its bondholders, the downgrade – and the subsequent imminent “junking” – was just the tip of the iceberg.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 12, 2017.

  • Italian Bond Yields Plunge To 5-Month Lows After Anti-EU 5-Star Party Flops In Local Elections

    Bad news for Beppe Grillo (and his anti-EU 5-Star Movement) is good news for Italian bondholders. 10Y BTP yields tumbled 9bps this morning to 2.00% – the lowest since January – after the comedian suffered heavy setbacks in local elections on Sunday, dimming the party’s prospects of leading the national government after parliamentary elections next year.
    As Bloomberg reports, Five Star, led by former comedian Beppe Grillo, failed to make it to the second round of voting in Genoa, Palermo, Parma and Verona, according to projections.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 12, 2017.

  • Is Another Spanish Bank about to Bite the Dust?

    Stockholders and junior bondholders fear a ‘bail-in.’
    After its most tumultuous week since the bailout days of 2012, Spain’s banking system is gripped by a climate of fear, uncertainty and distrust. Rather than allaying investor nerves, the shotgun bail-in and sale of Banco Popular to Santander on Tuesday has merely intensified them. For the first time since the Global Financial Crisis, shareholders and subordinate bondholders of a failing Spanish bank were not bailed out by taxpayers; they took risks in order to make a buck, and they bore the consequences. That’s how it should be. But bank investors don’t like not getting bailed out.
    Now they’re worrying it could happen again. As Popular’s final days showed, once confidence and trust in a bank vanishes, it’s almost impossible to restore them. The fear has now spread to Spain’s eighth largest lender, Liberbank, a mini-Bankia that was spawned in 2011 from the forced marriage of three failed cajas (savings banks), Cajastur, Caja de Extremadura and Caja Cantabria.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jun 10, 2017.


    GOLD: $1290.10 down $4.30
    Silver: $17.58 down 9 cent(s)
    Closing access prices:
    Gold $1294.30
    silver: $17.68
    Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$7.13
    LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1292.79
    LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1291.00
    For comex gold:
    TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 2048 FOR 204800 OZ (6.3701 TONNES)
    For silver:
    For silver: JUNE
    Total number of notices filed so far this month: 490 for 3,450,000 oz

    This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on June 7, 2017.

  • Clothing Retailer Rue21 Files For Bankruptcy, Many More On Deck

    This time Fitch was right. One month ago the rating agency listed 8 retail names that were most likely to file for bankruptcy next, just over a month later 1 out of the 8 was down, when teen clothing retailer Rue21 filed a prepackaged bankruptcy on Monday night in Pennsylvania bankruptcy court.
    In its bankruptcy petition, the company which retained Kirkland & Ellis as legal advisor, Rothschild as financial advisor, and Berkeley Research as its restructuring advisor, listed both assets and liabilities in the range of $1 to $10 billion.
    The restructuring process, during which the company will operate as normal, will lead to company’s “transformation into a more focused and highly performing retailer” the company announced in a press release, and added that as part of its restructuring process, it had “entered into a Restructuring Support Agreement (RSA) with certain of its stakeholders that confirms the support of the Debtors’ key constituents for the Debtors’ restructuring process and contemplates, among other things, an emergence from chapter 11 proceedings in the fall of 2017 with a significantly deleveraged balance sheet. In particular, lenders holding 96.8% of the Company’s secured term loan, bondholders representing 60.2% of the Company’s issued and outstanding unsecured notes, and the Company’s majority shareholder each executed the Restructuring Support Agreement.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 16, 2017.

  • Puerto Rico Bankruptcy a Flashing Warning Sign for the US

    Puerto Rico officially plunged into bankruptcy this week. Years of accumulating debt and misguided government policies finally reached their inevitable end.
    The bankruptcy means more pain for the people of Puerto Rico, as well as bondholders who have virtually no hope of ever getting their money back. But beyond that, it serves as a giant, flashing warning sign, because the truth is, the financial condition of the the US isn’t fundamentally different than that of her island territory.
    Puerto Rico has racked up some $123 billion in debt, including about $74 billion in bond debt and $49 billion in unfunded pension obligations. According to the court filing, the US territory is ‘unable to provide its citizens effective services.’
    Puerto Rico has been creeping toward this climax for nearly a year. Last summer, Congress sent a bill to President Obama’s desk crafted to help the commonwealth work its way out of its debt crisis. The bill didn’t allocate any federal funds to bail out Puerto Rico, but it did set the stage to allow the island’s government to pay back debtors at less than 100%. For all practical purposes, it created a bankruptcy process for Puerto Rico, even though the word ‘bankruptcy’ wasn’t in the bill’s language.
    And here we are.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on MAY 5, 2017.

  • Puerto Rico Triggers Largest Ever US Muni Bankruptcy Process

    ‘We’re going to protect our people.’ Hedge funds reel.
    Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossell took the momentous step on Wednesday to trigger the largest municipal bankruptcy-type process in the US, four times larger than the prior record, Detroit’s bankruptcy.
    Puerto Rico’s population has declined by about 10% since 2004 to 3.4 million. Its economy has declined by as much since 2005. Unemployment is at 14%. Public deficits have ballooned. Puerto Rico and over a dozen agencies, after years of reckless spending amid an aiding and abetting bond market, piled up over $70 billion in debt. That this was a mega problem became official two years ago; bonds crashed, and bond insurers got clobbered.
    As multiple defaults have rippled through Puerto Rico’s debt since then, hedge funds jumped into the fray and snapped up the beaten-down bonds. They figured since US states cannot file for bankruptcy the US territory couldn’t either, and that much of the debt would have to be repaid, no matter what the cost to Puerto Rico and its people.
    This calculus took a serious hit today.
    ‘We’re going to protect our people,’ Gov. Rossell announced at the press conference in San Juan, after holders of defaulted bonds had filed a slew of lawsuits. He said one of the lawsuits claimed that bondholders should get all revenues generated by Puerto Rico’s Treasury Department. ‘I’m not going to allow that to happen,’ he said.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on May 3, 2017.

  • Puerto Rico Files For Bankruptcy Protection In Largest Ever US Municipal Debt Restructuring

    * * *
    As per our report last night that following the expiration of the litigation freeze, Puerto Rico’s creditors had filed a barrage of lawsuits against the insolvent Commonwealth a bankruptcy was imminent, moments ago Puerto Rico’s governor announced the commonwealth will request bankruptcy protection of a portion of the island’s $70 billion in debt, setting up a showdown with Wall Street firms owed billions of dollars, in what will be the largest-ever U. S. municipal debt restructuring and further complicating the U. S. territory’s efforts to pull itself out of a financial crisis.
    The Puerto Rico restructuring would be far larger than Detroit’s record-setting bankruptcy, with little to no details how long a court proceeding would last or what cuts would are imposed on bondholders. The island’s financial recovery plan covers less than a quarter of the debt payments due over the next decade.
    Cited by AP, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Wednesday that a federal control board overseeing the island’s finances has agreed with his request to put the debts before a court. He told reporters that he has requested that the U. S. territory’s federal financial oversight board commence a Title III proceeding under last year’s Puerto Rico rescue law known as PROMESA. Title III is an in-court debt restructuring process similar to U. S. Bankruptcy.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 3, 2017.

  • Puerto Rico Takes First Steps Toward Bankruptcy-ish Filing

    After what has been the slowest of slow-motion train wrecks, Puerto Rico’s federal overseers have finally taken the inevitable first step toward considering the use of bankruptcy-ish proceedings, known as Title III, to allow the island to escape it’s $70 billion debt burden.
    Last year Puerto Rico was granted a 1-year temporary stay, courtesy of the so-called Promesa Act passed by Congress, that allowed protection from creditor proceedings in order to allow the debt-burdened island to negotiate a consensual agreement with bondholders. That said, the stay expires on Monday and the government has struggled to make headway in negotiations with creditors.
    With $70 billion of debt outstanding, Puerto Rico’s debt restructuring will be the largest ever for the $3.8 trillion municipal-bond market and is also expected to be among the most complicated as well with the commonwealth’s debt issued by more than a dozen agencies and backed by sometimes competing repayment pledges.
    As Bloomberg notes, the board also took steps to wind down the island’s government development bank which was used to finance multiple public projects but also defaulted on debt obligations.
    Separately, the board approved winding down Puerto Rico’s government development bank, which financed public works on the island until it defaulted during the crisis, and increasing water rates as part of a plan to steady the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority. Details of those fiscal proposals haven’t yet been released.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 28, 2017.

  • Payless ShoeSource bankruptcy is the latest blow for retail bondholders

    Payless ShoeSource’s bankruptcy filing has propelled Fitch Ratings’ U.S. retail default rate higher and kept the sector on track for up to $6 billion of defaults this year in the latest blow to retail bondholders.
    The rating agency’s trailing 12-month loan default rate for the retail sector has climbed to 1% in April from 0% in March and 0.5% at the end of February, according to the rating agency.
    Fitch is expecting the rate to spike to 9% by year-end as retailers continue to struggle with slowing traffic, shrinking margins caused by steep discounting and the competition from juggernaut Amazon.com. Consumer behavior is also changing with experiences and services more in demand than ‘stuff’.
    ‘Retailers have also suffered from the ebb and flow of brand popularity,’ Fitch said in a report. ‘Negative comparable-store sales and fixed-cost deleverage have led to negative cash flow, tight liquidity and unsustainable capital structures.’
    Payless was one of nine retailers on Fitch’s ‘Loans of Concern’ list, which comprises issuers with a significant risk of defaulting on their debt in the next 12 months. The other eight with combined loan debt of nearly $6 billion are Sears Holding Corp. with about $2.5 billion of debt, 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, Charming Charlie LLC, Gymboree Corp., Nine West Holdings Inc.; NYDJ Apparel LLC; rue21, Inc.; and True Religion Apparel Inc.

    This post was published at Market Watch

  • Europe’s Addiction to Bailing Out Banks

    Like repentant smokers, Europe’s politicians have promised to quit bailing out banks. They’re finding the habit hard to break.
    The Italian government wants to rescue three banks which are struggling under the weight of non-performing loans. The trade-offs, as always, are complicated: financial stability now against financial stability later; shielding taxpayers from the costs of a rescue against protecting small investors from heavy losses. Yet the right balance can’t mean saving every struggling bank every time.
    Last December, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s fourth largest bank by assets, applied for an injection of public money — a so-called precautionary recapitalization — and the European Central Bank and the European Commission are examining its request. Two smaller regional lenders, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, have followed suit, as a first step towards a possible merger.
    Note that Italy is playing by the rules. The E.U.’s directive governing bank failures allows governments to inject fresh capital into a bank so long as it is solvent under normal circumstances and support is needed to prevent wider economic and financial disturbances. Precautionary recapitalization requires junior bondholders to face losses but, unlike a full-blown resolution, spares investors holding senior debt.

    This post was published at bloomberg

  • Kashkari Slams Dimon: “If Demand For Loans Is High, Why Are You Buying Back Your Stock?”

    While Jamie Dimon made headlines with the warning that “something is wrong“ with America, to which he dedicated a substantial portion of his latest annual letter to shareholders, a less discussed declaration by the JPM CEO was that the too-big-to-fail problem, one which clearly impacts his own bank, JP Morgan, has been solved. It was this that Neel Kashkari took offense with, and in a post on Medium, today the Minneapolis Fed president who has long waged a crusade to warn Americans that US banks remain very risky, he said that Dimon’s claims about the too-big-to-fail banking problem being solved and banks being over-capitalized are ‘demonstrably false.” To wit:
    At 46 pages, Mr. Dimon’s letter includes a lot of interesting commentary. In this essay, I am going to respond to two of his main points because I strongly disagree with them. First, Mr. Dimon asserts that ‘essentially, Too Big to Fail has been solved? – ?taxpayers will not pay if a bank fails.’ Second, Mr. Dimon asserts that ‘it is clear that the banks have too much capital.’ Both of these assertions are demonstrably false.
    Addressing the first part of Dimon’s argument, the “solution” of the too big to fail problem, Kashkari says that ‘Mr. Dimon repeatedly points to various regulatory schemes that all have the same unrealistic feature: In a crisis, bondholders will take losses rather than taxpayers. It sounds like an ideal solution. The problem is that it almost never actually works in real life.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 6, 2017.