Bloomberg has an absolutely amazing story this morning about political economy and going the extra mile to build a successful business. Specifically it’s about a guy who
- worked as a mortgage banker,
- left to be a senior banking consumer-protection regulator,
- wrote regulations prohibiting big banks from providing certain kinds of mortgages because they were too predatory, and
- then left to start his own company to provide those mortgages.
That’s pretty much the American dream is it not?
The story is unimprovable so go read it; I have exaggerated but only slightly.1 The guy is Raj Date, a former Capital One and Deutsche Bank2 banker who became deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Board, wrote rules making it hard for banks to make mortgages that don’t satisfy certain bright-line requirements, and then left to start a company called Fenway Summer LLC that will do what banks can’t: Read more »
I used to work in a business that, among other things, helped clients get financing against securities. One thing that you learn quickly in that business, and then spend the rest of your career trying to forget, is that the simplest way to get financing against securities is to sell them. You’ve got $100 of stock and want to borrow $80 of cash against it? Just sell the stock, now you have $100, you’re welcome.1
This is not a perfect solution, of course, because you presumably owned the stock for a reason, and that reason was presumably that you thought it would go up.2 And if you sell it you lose the chance to participate in that upside. So one thing you could do is (1) sell your stock for $100 today and (2) enter into some sort of transaction that gives you some or all of the upside in the stock over some period of time. Like, you could buy a call option struck at $100, giving you all the upside and none of the downside, though at the cost of having to pay premium for the call option. Or you could enter into a total return swap struck at $100, giving you all of the upside and all of the downside at a zero-ish cost. Or you could enter into a forward contract to buy back the stock, which is the same as the swap, more or less. That last one – sell stock today, enter into a forward to buy it back in the future – is so common that it has a name, and the name is “repo.” Read more »
“Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, liebe Aktionäre” [Ladies and gentlemen, dear shareholders]. “Herzlich willkommen zur Hauptversammlung der Deutschen Bank” [A warm welcome to Deutsche Bank's annual general meeting]. Deutsche Bank’s co-chief executive, Anshu Jain, Thursday awed shareholders by giving a two-page introductory speech at the bank’s annual shareholders meeting in…German. It was the moment some shareholders had been waiting for. At last year’s AGM, some German investors had voiced concern as to whether they would need to learn English in order to understand the newly elected co-chief executive of “their bank.” Mr Jain, an Indian-born with a British passport, took office almost a year ago after the shareholder’s meeting, along with co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen, a native German speaker. [WSJ]
Now that Goldman Sachs has succeeded in its mission of helping Apple fend off David Einhorn’s demand that it raise a two hundred plus billion dollars of preferred stock, I guess it’s time for someone at Goldman to sit down with Apple and say “now, guys, really, you ought to think about raising two hundred billion dollars of preferred stock, it’s just the sensible thing to do.” Or something. This debt-financed share-buyback plan doesn’t sound like too much fun for the bankers:
On April 23, Cupertino, California-based Apple said it would return an additional $55 billion in cash to shareholders to compensate for a stock that’s dropped on signs that the company’s growth is slowing. Although it has $145 billion of cash, Apple said it will use debt to help finance a total capital reward of about $100 billion to shareholders. …
Because investment-grade debt offerings typically pay low fees, banks may offer to do the transaction for little or no charge, [Sanford Bernstein analyst Brad] Hintz said.
“This is going to be a prestige-per-share, not an earnings-per-share, deal,” said Hintz, who worked as Morgan Stanley’s treasurer and as the chief financial officer at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. earlier in his career. “We’re really talking about a deal that’s going to be done as close to gratis as you can get.”
- When they lose money, that strengthens their capital position, and
- When they make money, that weakens their capital position, requiring them to sell shares.
Maybe? Three months ago we talked about how … well, I said “Deutsche Bank Improved Its Balance Sheet By Losing A Lot Of Money,” which I guess seemed funnier at the time, but to be fair (1) Bloomberg said “Deutsche Bank ‘took pain’ in the quarter by booking a loss to boost its capital ratio without selling shares,” which is about equally funny or unfunny, and (2) Deutsche did in fact have a 4Q loss of €2.2bn and yet increased its Tier 1 capital ratio by 90bps.
The Management Board of Deutsche Bank AG resolved today, with the approval of the Supervisory Board, to execute a capital increase, which is intended to raise gross proceeds of approximately EUR 2.8 billion. The purpose of the capital increase is to strengthen the equity capitalisation of the bank. Read more »