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CDS Portfolio


Guest misterstockwell
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Guest misterstockwell

With all the doom and gloom around FFH(at least from the market perspective), I thought we should revisit at the CDS portfolio.  I haven't gotten the updated ORH holdings from 12/31, but the 9/30 holdings showed a great many foreign financials, as well as many US. The stock prices on almost all of these have dropped to levels far below 11/21/2008. The largest positions were Allianz, Societe Generale, Aegon, Zurich, Meunchener, Deutsche Bank, Swiss Re, Genworth, Goldman, Hanover, BofA etc. They should have some decent profits to take in these this quarter.

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Here are the CDS spreads.  I'm calculating about a $5 per share gain based on the duration.  About half of this is coming from Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Aegon.  If someone wants to figure out a way to get all of the MBS and Muni cusips in to excel, I can give a value for that too.

 

Spread Spread

12/31/2008 3/6/2009

 

Allianz (used senior) 134 159.125

Societe Generale Senior 89 136

Hanover Re 84.5 150

XL Capital 865 1049.25

Barclays 154.5 230.327

Aegon 409.5 639.311

ACE 103.25 132.625

Bank of America 112.357 410.959

Munich Re 65 117

JP Morgan 100.167 300

Zurich 149 203

Deutsche Bank 138.375 145

Citi 201.938 645.417

Capital One 291.3 570.394

 

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Boy they sure did purchase a lot of MBS's. I have little experience with these, so i hope the team is confident in their analysis of these securities.

 

Is that large Cheung Kong Hldg. a new purchase for ORH? It's right up there with Pfizer, kraft, intel, dell, jnj, as a top holding.

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Guest misterstockwell

Sweet---I started buying Cheung Kong the other day. I wasn't aware ORH owned it. Good to have Prem as my wingman.  ;D

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As far as the MBS are concerned - I pulled a few up on Bloomberg.  It looks like its not a question of will they default - it is a question of when.  Watsa bought these for pennies on the dollar though.  Most are sub-tranches in leveraged structures - the value of which is very sensitive to the timing and levels of foreclosures.  If foreclosures come in less than anticipated, or recoveries are higher, it may be possible for these investments to double (bought at 5, receive 10 cents worth of cash flows, then default).

 

For example, one bond I pulled up (a Citi MBS), using a 10% CPR, 10% CDR% (high), 40% recovery, and a 15% discount rate, the security is worth about 3 cents on the dollar and defaults in September.  Changing the recovery rate to 60% though results in a value of over 8 cents, about 2.5 times higher.  They are so sensitive - these are basically call options on the housing/mortgage market.

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I wonder whether the MBS market is really a variant of Akerlof's "Market for Lemons."  There is no way for a buyer to reasonably assess the quality of the underlying mortgages, so a prudent buyer must assume that the MBS is comprised of the worst crap out there.  Bids are probably pushed down in consequence.

 

However, we know that the MBS are not all comprised of the worst crap out there.  There will likely be some that come out quite nicely.  It is entirely possible that this lack of transparency will result in undervaluation of MBS (we won't likely know for a few more years).  Perhaps that's where Prem's coming from?

 

SJ

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I remeber at last year's AGM that somebody asked Prem about buying MBS. he said that the only reasonable way to do that was to go over one by one and not look at them as an asset class.  He also mentioned that they did not have the intention of doing that at that point (IIRC). 

 

Well, they are doing it now...

 

Also, Tilson has gone over a tranch that they purchased under the same premise...cash yields are huge and very sensitive to a few % of sensitivity, like a call option.

 

 

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All of these mbs you can type in a cusip and get any type of info from bloomberg you would want - delinquency buckets, foreclosures, types of mortgages, prepay speeds, fico score stratifications, geographic origin, etc.

 

Sure, you can get all the observable characteristics of the MBS.  What about the characteristics that are unobservable to the typical buyer?  Delinquency rates and foreclosures tell you about problems that have occurred in the past, which is good information....but when you plunk a cusip into a Bloomberg machine, does it tell you how many of the mortgages were liar loans, ninja loans, inflated property appraisals, etc?  There was a big pile of crap mortgages issued over the past few years and you might be able to discern some of the losers from the winners though credit scores or the other observable characteristics....but isn't it a little like trying to pick fly-shit out of pepper?  Or attempting to sort raisins and turds?

 

Akerlof would argue that asset prices are bid down in those circumstances...we'll know in a few years!

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