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Archive for the ‘Ginnie mae’ Category

Let’s Meet the 2008 Bond Manager of the Year

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 8th, 2009 3:09 PM |

One of our Economic All-Stars is Bob Rodriguez of First Pacific Advisors. In the spirit of being totally equitable, I should have also posted Tom Atteberry’s name next to Bob’s. Bob and Tom were jointly named 2008 Morningstar Fixed Income Managers of the Year.

Bob is currently taking a leave of absence from First Pacific but Tom is equally outstanding. I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance while I worked at JP Morgan. Tom Atteberry is a pro’s pro. He spoke to Bloomberg earlier today and made these comments, which I took in longhand, so I am not quoting but I listened very carefully. Tom opined:

1. The current environment is the worst time to get into bonds. Why?

2. The creditworthiness of individuals and companies across the economy will only get worse from here and that deteriorating credit is not currently priced into the market.

3. U. S. government debt (Treasuries) represent NO value at current levels. If a fair expected rate of return is between 2-3% and a longer term rate of inflation is also between 2-3%, the rate on a 10 yr. maturity Treasury note should be in the vicinity of 5%. That note is currently trading at 2.85%. Don’t overpay for an asset just because somebody else is, in this case the Federal Reserve. (more…)

Where Can I Put My Money?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 11th, 2009 5:06 PM |

With stock markets down 15-20% on the year and 50% over the last 14 months, everybody in the market is asking the same question, “where can I put my money?” While many asset managers are touting the equity markets as a great buy at these levels, cooler and calmer heads are stating that the economy and markets are likely to have a slow recovery. The question screams where to put one’s money to earn more than the pittance offered in bank checking and savings accounts.

I read a very informative piece in today’s WSJ, Locking In Returns You Like. First off, this piece is very user friendly. It provides a wealth of information and links to websites which will provide good market insight.

Over and above referencing some quality products (GNMAs, TIPS, municipals), it also broaches the topic of  laddering which I believe is a very valuable technique in building a bond portfolio.

Additionally, the article highlights FPA New Income Fund which is managed by one of our Economic All-Stars Bob Rodriguez. (I have no professional relationship with anybody on this site!!)

I think you will find this article a very valuable resource and I would recommend putting it in the “save” column for future reference. As you review the products highlighted and topics broached, please do not hesitate to ask anything you may not fully understand.

LD

Shake Hands With Uncle Sam

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 27th, 2009 5:30 AM |

uncle-samWhen trading bonds on Wall Street, I always wanted to know what the largest accounts were doing. A handful of these accounts were so massive that in order to make a meaningful change in their portfolio they had to execute trades of monstrous size. In executing trades with these clients, there was enormous risk. That said, if I did not provide enough liquidity to the accounts then we would stop seeing their inquiry. Information is everything, so not seeing their business was even more dangerous than printing some of it. Given this balancing act, I would try to pick and choose my spots. Amongst these clients is the largest bond manager in the country, Pacific Investment Management Company, otherwise known as Pimco, headed by the legendary Bill Gross (one of our Economic All-Stars highlighted in the lower left sidebar).   

Bill offers his thoughts on a monthly basis. Anybody with even passing interest in the markets should read his remarks. I will offer an overview: (more…)

A Wall St. Insider’s View of Freddie/Fannie

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 16th, 2008 6:00 AM |

I am happy to provide you with a full accounting of what occurred from the late ’90s to the present.

–The repeal of Glass-Stegall (GLBA) is a total non-event in the midst of the current economic turmoil. What this repeal did was allow commercial banks to get more deeply involved with investment banking activities. Thus, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America were able to utilize their significant balance sheets and capital bases to become a force on Wall Street. Fast forward ten years and it is those institutions that are now thankfully supporting and bailing out our system.

–Throughout the 90s and into the early part of this century, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were utilizing their significant lobbying power to gain an ever increasing portion of the overall U.S. mortgage market. They had the enormous advantage of being able to borrow at just marginally over U.S, government rates given the “implied” but not explicit backing of Uncle Sam. I mean, come on. That worst case scenario could never come to pass!!

While Freddie and Fannie were designed to provide liquidity to the market in the form of bundling mortgages into securities, charging a guarantee fee for return of principal to the investors in these MBS, and then selling the MBS into the private market, they decided to “grow their business”. Just how did they grow? Given their ability to borrow at very cheap rates they decided to effectively grow their own internal portfolios. This business model was nothing more than a massively levered hedge fund under the guise of “helping the homowner”. (more…)






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