Dougie Kass Profile picture
15 Jan, 16 tweets, 6 min read
From yesterday on @realmoney @WilfredFrost @andrewrsorkin @beckyquick
Jan 14, 2021 | 07:50 AM EST DOUG KASS
The Easy Money Has Been Made in Banks
* The setup into the current reporting period is poor

* With bank stocks elevated, in-line to slightly lower reports, relative to
consensus expectations, could modestly disappoint traders and investors - particularly if my market concerns pan out

* Consider hedging bank stocks or writing calls against positions now

There was near a universal view that bank stocks were unattractive in March-April last

When the ($XLF) was about $21, and I was buying, it was over $31.50 in pre-market trading, one analyst on our site said it was patently foolish to expect a rally in the sector. As to leading the market it was next to unimaginable to that observer.

A well-known
commentator on CNBC said banks were uninvestable because of some vague theory and narrative that they have permanently lost their competitive advantage. (He is now long!)

Others have just wobbled back and forth without any conviction.

I spent months in my Diary, in the media
and in speeches, outlining the merits - both short and long term - of the banking industry and stocks. I am sure, as the stocks traded near their lows, many were fed up with my own theories on the banking industry's attraction.

The rest is history.

Of late, bank stocks have
led the markets with large absolute and relative gains.

* Net interest margins are benefiting from economic optimism. 2s/10s are widening, interest rates are rising and inflation breakevens are hitting multi year highs.

* As well, many now recognize that loan loss
provisioning may have been excessive and that reserve reversals may lie ahead.

* Meanwhile, the Feds have taken their feet off the banking industry's necks and are now permitting share buybacks.

While it has paid to be anticipatory in the group I am fearful that we are now
in a sell on the news situation for financials. Expectations, so low in 1Q2020, are so high in 1Q2021.

I make this statement because I believe the next six months or so represent a fundamental risk that global economic growth may not live up to expectations. Already Europe is
sinking (as I have discussed in my Diary) and domestic economic activity is failing to meet consensus expectations in the current quarter. Moreover, the challenges of gutted industries - like hospitality, travel, education, etc. - represent a near term and intermediate term

I also make this statement because I believe the broad market is vulnerable for the many reasons mentioned recently in my Diary.

As to the reports coming up over the next week, given the continuing macro economic headwinds, I, importantly, expect most EPS reports
will be only in line to slightly below consensus expectations. While capital market activity should beat projections, aggregate revenues will be down sequentially, fourth quarter expenses will be higher and loan loss provisioning will be flat to slightly higher from the third

With bank stocks elevated, in-line to slightly lower reports, relative to consensus expectations, could modestly disappoint traders and investors - particularly if my market concerns pan out.

When the stocks traded at their lows nine months ago I predicted that, in
a market dominated by programs and algos, traders, who abandoned the bank sector would embrace the stocks later in the year as "buyers live higher and sellers live lower". And that is exactly what has happened. Traders, strategists, technicians all love the group now.

I have
already taken profits in ($MS) , ($GS) and ($XLF) , but still have medium-sized long positions in ($C) , ($BAC) , ($JPM) and ($WFC) .

And I am now considering taking an XLF short hedge against my "forever" holdings in banks to insulate me from some turbulence over the next few
months. (Later in day I shorted XLF)

As an alternative, I am also considering writing calls in my four bank holdings to protect me from the downside, to take in some premium and to avoid large taxable gains.

Stay tuned... @jimcramer @tomkeene @riskreversal @ScottWapnerCNBC

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More from @DougKass

16 Jan
When this is all over, nobody will admit to ever having supported @realDonaldTrump except the Far Right.
Throughout the Presidency Trump has, with " a wink and a nod," enlisted the Far Right scum.
For four years Trump has "succeeded" in sanctioning violence yet the
Republican Party ignored his core threat that violence would follow an adverse Election result. The siege of the Capitol wasn’t a departure for Trump, it was an apotheosis. In 2019 he told Breitbart “I have the tough people, but they
don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
The Republican Party failed to sanction the gun-toting anti-lockdown activists who stormed the Michigan statehouse last year and dismissed a plot to kidnap and publicly execute
Read 7 tweets
14 Jan
Jan 14, 2021 | 11:25 AM EST DOUG KASS
Now Hedged in Banks
With this morning's sharp move higher in bank stocks I have hedged out my entire long position (10% weighting) with an ($XLF) short.

I have shorted XLF from the opening on a scale higher. ($31.41 to $31.54).
I expect backing and filling from here over the next several months - but that is likely contingent on my market view being correct.

If I am correct I will cover XLF (down 10% or more) - moving me, again, back long.

I am trying to be as transparent as possible in this

I find it interesting that some of the same observers who questioned my sanity in buying months ago are now questioning these sales.

Frankly, I did not expect the bank stocks to pivot higher in such rapid order - I had expected a more gradual and "orderly" rise
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
Capitalism has found morality and has come to the rescue of a political system that has taken a terrible turn over the recent period with Trump at the helm. Signature Bank, Deutsche Bank, scores of corporations and to the chagrin of Trump, the PGA has
jettisoned its relationship.
Worse than political carnage with be the swift decline of the Trump brand and his businesses. Who, besides his sycophants, want to be associated with the Trump brand? Companies look for safety, stability and confidence of its stakeholders.
If you still worship at his altar, look in the mirror. If you are a member of Mar a Lago, Trump golf clubs or frequent Trump resorts, look in the mirror. And ask yourself why did this revelation take so long? @jimcramer @tomkeene @SquawkCNBC @cnbcfastmoney @andrewrsorkin
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
I have spent the last year or so endlessly criticizing Trump's conduct, ethical foundation and policies on Twitter.
I was aghast that so many accepted (Trump Acceptance Syndrome? TAC?) his behavior and lack of a moral footing.
To all my haters who defended @realdonaldtrump
and repeatedly tweeted that I and others had TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) - I accept your apologies.
Today (one by one) the leaders in the Republican House and Senate are increasingly moving to support impeachment as they now are in favor of purging Trump from the Party.
To those who's views of Trump have not changed since the siege on Washington last week I think you should reassess-- you should recognize that the assault has been ongoing but you simply were unwilling to see with clarity.
It is time for the Republican party to regain the tenets
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
Jan 12, 2021 | 12:30 PM EST DOUG KASS
'Schwartzy' Buys
* In March 'Schwartzy' sold out his entire stock portfolio

* Yesterday he bought back into the market

* Res ipso loquitor

I can't even...
Yesterday I received a telephone call from 'Schwartzy' who informed me that he has bought back into the market.

You all might remember my pal 'Schwartzy' back at the market lows in March when I wrote a column, "'Schwartzy' Sells", in which I described a friend's decision
to liquidate his entire (sizeable) stock portfolio...

Bottom Line

'Schwartzy' sold his portfolio out with the S&P Index at about 2200 - within a couple of days of the market's lows.

This week he has bought stocks back (10 months later) with the S&P Index at about 3800.
Read 7 tweets
11 Jan
Coming up on @realmoney

Trump Loses His Voice, Twitter Loses Its Meal Ticket

* Over the last four years Twitter has become President Trump's 'house organ'… - a powerful, real-time tool for communicating his views and policy
* I shorted Twitter last
week after predicting, in my "15 Surprises for 2021," in late December, that the President would be banned from Twitter
* On Friday night, Twitter permanently banned President Trump from the platform…
* @realdonaldtrump was Twitter's "mother lode" -
the importance of his Twitter account can not be overstated
* The ban on Trump's Twitter account will have profound ramifications for Twitter's usage, revenues and profitability
* Twitter's shares, which fell on Friday, are down by another -$4 (or -8%) in premarket trading
Read 5 tweets

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