Monday, 25 September 2017

A Analysis

A hedge fund recently made news by securitizing its LP units as digital tokens and selling them as tradeable (thereby liquid) assets. This brings technology to the VC industry that should truly challenge the extant VCs right? Well, yes and no. You see, the tokenized thingy is cool and all, but it really doesn't take full advantage of the technology at hand. After all, 2.5% & 25% is a pretty steep fee. Veritaseum, in anticipation of its upcoming ICO (online road show and executive summary ), is prepping to launch what we call an ICODAO, and Distributed Autonomous Organization that collects Initial Coin Offerings. We are attempting to make this nearly completely autonomous, tested (don't think "TheDAO" debacle, and considerably cheaper than hedge funds that you see these days. Now, the ICODAO is not a hedge fund, or a fund of any kind. It's sort of an autonomous software entity, that uses our software token, "Veritas" to allow other entities and individuals to gain access to its accumulated exposures and services. Those services are basically the sniffing our and collecting the best of the best ICOs and token offerings available, and the exposures are the natural result of the collection and holding of said ICOs. A world class research team will supply the analytical chops (click here if you don't know, the same team that predicted Bear Stearns, Lehman, CRE and housing crash, Google, EU sovereign debt crisis, etc.). Back to that in a minute, let's look at what's happening in the world off(block)chain. 

Bloomberg reports "Yale Endowment Blasts Low-Fee Critics, Says Gains Would Lag", as excerpted:

 Yale University, one of the most-watched and best-performing college endowments, defended the fees it pays to external managers, saying in an annual investment report that a low-cost passive strategy would have “shortchanged’’ the Ivy League school’s students and faculty.

 Fees for private equity and hedge fund managers, some of whom command 2 percent for management and 20 percent for performance, or even more, have become a heated topic. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Warren Buffett and writer Malcolm Gladwell have taken public shots at the structure, and Gladwell specifically targeted Yale two years ago.

“What Buffett, Gladwell and other fee bashers miss is that the important metric is net returns, not gross fees,’’ the report said. “Weak or negative returns would result in low or no performance-related fees, but would be a terrible outcome for the university.’’

Yale’s investment strategy emphasizes long-term active management of equity-oriented, yet often illiquid assets, with more than half the fund in alternative investments. Almost a third of Yale’s 2016 allocation is in private equity, including 16.2 percent in venture capital and 14.7 percent in leveraged buyouts. About 22 percent is in absolute return with hedged-like strategies.

“Performance-based compensation earned by external, active investment managers is a direct consequence of investment outperformance,’’ it said.

Yeah, I get it. Some guys are just better than others at investing, and they should be compensated commensurately. The question is, are there high performers that can be had for less than 27% of your profits?  Let's take a look at a theoretical blockchain focused hedge fund vs the ICODAO - from a graphical perspective. Realize that the ICODAO charges a flat fee for its services. It's not a hedge fund, so there are no performance fees, but there are certain things that it may not be able to do on its own (yet), hence has to contract out for. The fees are to cover what it takes to make this autonomous entity self sustaining. It may very well be the case that these fees will shrink over time. We don't know, we're breaking new ground here. The hedge fund fees are self explanatory. 

 Hedgefund fees vs Veritaseum ICODOA fees table

There you go. In a nutshell. Here's more...

Hedgefund fees vs Veritaseum ICODOA fees

Yes, the machines are taking over! Be sure to take part in the Veritaseum Token Offering, take part in the paradigm shift! Feel free to contact me directly with any queries via the contact form in the top menu.

Download the Veritas deal sheet here.

Veritas Deal Sheet 

 

Thursday, 25 August 2016 15:01

How Deutsche Bank Can Destroy Europe

How can Deutsche Bank destroy the EU? Capital fight and extreme, involuntary deleveraging. DB is closing nearly 200 German bank branches. Not a big deal, right? German bank's depositor base is 111% of German GDP. A run on German banks is literally a run on the German economy - the largest economy in Europe...

fredgraph 1

...not to mention a major (the major) funding source for DB's massive derivative positions.  

Current news events don't portend a positive outcome for Germany's largest bank either. Bloomberg reports: NordLB Boosts Shipping Provisions Five-Fold, Warns of High Loss

Norddeutsche Landesbank boosted provisions for bad loans nearly fivefold to 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion), as Germany’s biggest shipping lender prepares for its first full-year loss since 2009.

NordLB, controlled by the state of Lower Saxony, posted a loss of 406 million euros in the first half as it battles a prolonged slump in maritime markets, including eight years of crisis in the container segment. That compares with a profit of 290 million euros in the same period last year.

“The shipping crisis, which further intensified in the first half of the year, has necessitated impairments that were higher than planned,” Chief Executive Officer Gunter Dunkel said in a statement. The bank lowered its outlook for the year, now anticipating a “significant” loss. It had projected a “negative result” in the spring.

... NordLB’s pessimistic view highlights risks at other German banks, which hold roughly one-quarter of the about 400 billion euros in global shipping loans. Under pressure to unwind sour legacy maritime assets, banks including HSH Nordbank AG and Commerzbank AG are also trying to shrink their loan books.

 What does this have to do with Deutsche Bank? A lot! Because everybody wants to sell these assets that aren't considered very desirable, and all at the same time, we've made a bad situation worse - precisely when DB can't afford it.DB mass selling bad shiping loans

Then there's the issue of DB's somewhat questionable assumptions and characteristics in its financial reporting. Deutsche Bank addendums are quoted as saying:

"The credit risk on the securities purchased under resale agreements and securities borrowed designated under the fair value option is mitigated by the holding of collateral. The valuation of these instruments takes into account the credit enhancement in the form of the collateral received. As such there is no material movement during the year or cumulatively due to movements in counterparty credit risk on these instruments."

What???!!! So, the value of collateral doesn't move now? On planet Earth, not only does the value of collateral move, it tends to move in the exact same direction as the value of the loan, borrowing or underlying, often at an exaggerated pace in the beginning (it's markets are the first to know of turmoil). Reference my podcast interview with Max Keiser at the 2:40 marker. Want some more? Read this page from our EU banking report a couple of quarters ago...

For those who don't believe me, I made this call in early 2008 - twice. Once for Bear Stearns (Is this the Breaking of the Bear?) and once for Lehman Brothers (Is Lehman really a lemming in disguise? Thursday, February 21st, 2008 | Web chatter on Lehman Brothers Sunday, March 16th, 2008). Was I right? Of course, that was then and this is now, so the banks are better prepared, right? Of course. The graphic below was taken from our Banco Popular report (click here for more info), not from 8 years ago, but from a quarter ago - yes, 2016! Hey, there's more...

Banco Popular Research teaser3

Now, just imagine that Italy's Banco Popular is the entity that DB used to hedge it's exposure, and Banco Popular (obviously) can't pay up on every(any?)thing. DB's gross exposure become's DB's net exposure as DB's notion value and market value converge near instantaneously if (or when) market shoots off in one direction (you can likely guess what direction that would be for stakeholders, and this time around that includes depositors and bondholders, not just shareholders).

What does this all mean?  Well, we went through this in explicit detail and have identified no less than 6 (and we're still actively looking) financial institutions that may have passed the EBA stress tests, but have miserably failed our examination - and that's without adding in the bank contagion factor!

To partake in this knowledge, join Veritaseum University and purchase the interactive research asset called "European Bank Contagion Assessment, Forensic Analysis & Valuation".

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