David Einhorn:Total currency collapse imminent

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by MohdSalleh, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Einhorn bets on major currency 'death spiral'
    Oct. 19, 2009, 2:39 p.m. EDT
    Major institutions should be broken up if necessary, Greenlight manager says

    By Alistair Barr, MarketWatch

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Greenlight Capital is betting on the possibility of a major currency collapse and a surge in interest rates, the hedge-fund firm's manager David Einhorn said Monday, citing ballooning government deficits in some of the world's most developed countries.

    Einhorn, who warned about Lehman Brothers' frailty before it collapsed last year, also said financial institutions that are deemed as "too big to fail," such as Citigroup Inc. , should be broken up.

    Greenlight has been buying physical gold this year because Einhorn is concerned that efforts to save the financial system and fuel economic recovery are undermining the value of such currencies as the U.S. dollar.

    On Monday, he said Greenlight has added new trades to this investment theme, buying long-dated options on much higher interest rates in Japan and other developed regions -- effectively giving the firm the chance to make big profits from a jump in rates. The options, bought from major banks, are tied to interest rates four to five years out, Einhorn noted.

    "Japan may already be past the point of no return," he said during a presentation at the Value Investing Congress in New York.

    'Lehman shouldn't have existed in any size to threaten the financial system.'

    Japan's debt is equal to 190% of the country's gross domestic product and its government deficit will be 10% of GDP this year, according to Einhorn.

    Japan has been able to borrow money at roughly 2% a year to finance these deficits, partly because the country has many savers willing to buy low-yielding government bonds. However, some of these savers may begin spending instead as they enter retirement, Einhorn argued.

    "When the market refuses to refinance at cheap rates, problems emerge," he said, adding that this could trigger a "currency death spiral."

    Interest rates have been very stable in Japan for years, so the options on higher rates that Greenlight bought were relatively cheap. Einhorn said the "asymmetry" of that trade was interesting: If rates were to jump suddenly in Japan, Greenlight stands to make "multiples" on its positions.

    "There remains a possibility that I'm wrong, and I hope I am," he commented. But earlier in the speech he remarked: "Just because something hasn't happened before, that doesn't mean it won't."
    Remedy to shore up system

    Einhorn also compared potential problems in sovereign-debt markets to the financial crisis that engulfed markets last year.

    When Lehman collapsed, investors reacted by dramatically increasing the cost of borrowing for rival Wall Street firms to the point where their business models were threatened, he Einhorn. The collapse of any major currency could have same impact of rerating the cost of financing governments in deficit.

    Unlike Japan, the United States isn't past the point of no return, the fund manager stressed. However, he criticized financial-reform proposals pushed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, arguing they provide a government backstop for the largest institutions, entrenching them further.

    No institution should be too big to fail, Einhorn contended. "The real solution is to break up anything that fails that test. Lehman shouldn't have existed in any size to threaten the financial system."

    The same applies to Citigroup and Bear Stearns, which J.P. Mortgage Chase & Co. acquired, as well as American International Group Inc. and "dozens" of other firms, he said.
  2. Whoooooooohoooooooooooooooo Dow at 50,000 by the end of 2010!!!

    Party on!
  3. [​IMG]
  4. The banks cannot hide those non-performing/worthless loans forever. The deflationary spiral is being postponed for political reasons. By 2012 the stock_trad3rs of the world will be lined up at the Golden Gate bridge to jump. The elite are preparing for civil unrest.

    Our economy is >70% based on consumer spending. The largest generation in world history has reached the peak in spending. This house of cards has nowhere to go but down. Could we have Spooz 1500 and 30% unemployment and $2T worth of stimulus checks? Absolutely! Free Iphones courtesy of the US Gov't!

    Until you get a close below the 4th preceding daily bar of a shooting star, buy all dips.
  5. And what are you going to redeem those Dow futures with? Twinkies? :D
  6. Bullshit. I would the opposite of what he says, and never what he says. He must be cornered in his position, and wants to offload. Time will shows us his shit.
  7. Time is short for all of us, Goodbye Ruby Tuesday and October under 1000.

  8. S2007S


    The US debt will equal 100% of the GDP by end of 2010 early 2011.

    This is certainly a positive.

  9. maxpi


    The US really needs to re-regulate.. Democrats are the ones that regulated in the first place and it worked for a long time.. They should get busy and do it again... Too big to fail = government asleep at switch...
  10. Mountains of debts and aging population will put the end of greatness of US. Tax can't go lower, interest rate will eventually go higher. It is gonna be tough for people to support this system in the future, I am surprised most people are remain pretty calm at current stage. :D
    #10     Oct 20, 2009