domenica 18 aprile 2010

Un correzione in vista? Anche se cadono gli dei non c'è bisogno di uccidere gli angeli. Aggiornamento al 16 aprile 2010.

Ancora su U,V o W: secondo John Mauldin c'è il 50% di probabilità di una recessione nel 2011, e dunque di una "correzione" del 40% (!) negli indici azionari:

Chartoftheday mette il rally dai minimi del marzo 2009 a confronto con gli altri rally dopo i minimi associati ai principali merkati orso e ne deduce invece che siamo nella norma e che la prospettiva più verosimile per i prossimi 12-18 mesi è una fase laterale.

Se invece volete preoccuparvi ancora di più allora potete dare un'occhiata a questo video... credo che Mark William abbia ragione nel sostenere la necessità di mettere mano a una seria riforma.

Nella sua newsletter settimanale John Mauldin dedica alcune considerazioni ad una conseguenza indesiderata (e probabilmente indesiderabile) della riforma finanziaria in discussione negli USA. Secondo Mauldin il testo in corso di approvazione prevede importanti restrizioni alla libertà di operazione dei business angles: ecco un estratto della sua lettera, non a caso intitolata First, Let's Kill the Angels, il testo completo potete trovarlo qui

First, let’s look at a very important part of the US economic machine, the angel
investing network. An angel investor, or angel (also known as a business angel or
informal investor) is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business startup,
usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. A small but increasing
number of angel investors organize themselves into angel groups or angel networks to
share research and pool their investment capital.
Angels typically invest their own funds, unlike venture capitalists, who manage
the pooled money of others in a professionally managed fund. (...)
 angel investment is a common second round of financing for high-growth
startups, and accounts in total for almost as much money invested annually as all venture
capital funds combined, but invested into more than ten times as many companies (US
$26 billion vs. $30.69 billion in the US in 2007, into 57,000 companies vs. 3,918
companies). (Wikipedia)
“Angel investors committed fewer dollars but increased the number of
investments during the first half of 2009,” according to “The Angel Investor Market in
Q1Q2 2009: A Halt in the Market Contraction” by the Center for Venture Research at the
University of New Hampshire. Total investments in the first half of 2009 were $9.1
billion, a decrease of 27% over the first half of 2008, the study reports. However, 24,500
entrepreneurial ventures received angel funding during the period, a 6% increase from the
first half of 2008. The number of active investors in the first half of 2009 was 140,200
individuals, virtually unchanged from the same period in 2008. (Tech Transfer Blog)
And according to a conversation I had with the very enthusiastic David Rose of
Angelsoft this week in New York, the numbers are growing as the economy improves. If
you assume that as many new ventures were funded in the latter half of 2009, then we are
looking at 50,000 new businesses last year. At an average of (my guess) 10 employees a
firm, plus all the business they contract for, that is at least 500,000 jobs, with the promise
of many more for the firms that become viable. (...)
This is the very heart of the job-creation machine in
the US. It is what keeps this country competitive. And the Dodd bill places this at severe
risk. Let’s look at how it would handcuff potential investors.
Here are a few quotes from Venture Beat, a publication of the venture industry.
“There are three changes that should have a particular effect on angel investors, a
catch-all category which includes everyone from friends and family members who invest
in a startup, to unaffiliated wealthy individuals, to side investments made by venture
capitalists acting on their own.
“First, Dodd’s bill would require startups raising funding to register with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, and then wait 120 days for the SEC to review their
filing. A second provision raises the wealth requirements for an “accredited investor”
who can invest in startups — if the bill passes, investors would need assets of more than
$2.3 million (up from $1 million) or income of more than $450,000 (up from $250,000).
The third restriction removes the federal pre-emption allowing angel and venture
financing in the United States to follow federal regulations, rather than face different
rules between states.”
This is not a partisan issue. Let’s look at what former Google employee, angel
investor, and Obama supporter Chris Sacca has to say:
“Obviously, I’m deeply concerned about Senator Dodd’s proposal to place these
restrictions on angel investing. (...) There’s no doubt about it that the restrictions that he’s proposing would absolutely chill investing. (...)  So this 120-day waiting period is frankly ridiculous. I have companies with tens
of thousands and hundreds of thousands of users that are built in a matter of weeks.
They’re generating actual dollars of revenue, creating jobs, investing in real estate office
space, capital equipment, etc. If they had to wait 120 days to actually apply for the ability
to obtain financing it would absolutely just crush that market.
“I think this is a very short-sighted proposal. It seems far afield from the problems
that the banking committee is actually trying to address.”
Additionally, allowing states to set the rules rather than having one set of rules
that governs business startups, is guaranteed chaos and adds another layer of costs. 

Non sono un esperto della materia ma le considerazioni svolte da Mauldin mi sembrano condivisibili.
La seconda parte della newsletter di questa settimana analizza brevemente il caso Goldman e i CDOs squared incriminati. Alla questione è anche dedicato un editoriale del New York Times che scrive:

(...) We urge everyone to keep a close eye on this case. If it is handled correctly, it should finally answer the question of whether malfeasance — and not merely unbridled greed, incompetence and weak regulation — was also responsible for the financial meltdown.
Goldman insists that what it was doing was prudent risk management. (...)
Up to now, the bankers have argued that the financial crisis was like what insurers call an “act of God,” an unforeseeable cataclysm over which they had no control. This has allowed them to shrug off responsibility, even as taxpayers bailed them out. It has allowed them to sleep soundly after collecting their huge bonuses. Goldman is not the only bank to have sold mortgage-backed securities and then bet against them. We suspect that after Friday, others on Wall Street may have a harder time sleeping.

Sempre sul NYTimes trovate un breve racconto sul ruolo svolto dal fondo hedge di John Paulson nella vicenda:
(...) Mr. Paulson, 54, was not named as a defendant in the S.E.C. suit, but his role in devising the instrument that caused $1 billion in losses for Goldman’s customers is detailed in the complaint. Robert Khuzami, the director of enforcement at the S.E.C., explained that, unlike Goldman, the manager of the hedge fund, Paulson & Company, had not made misrepresentations to investors buying the security, known as a collateralized debt obligation.
“While it’s unfortunate that people lost money investing in mortgage-backed securities, Paulson has never been involved in the origination, distribution or structuring of such securities,” said Stefan Prelog, a spokesman for Mr. Paulson, in a statement. “We have always been forthright in expressing our opinion as to the quality of the underlying mortgages. Paulson has never misrepresented our positions to any counterparties.
“There’s no question we made money in these transactions. However, all our dealings were through arm’s-length transactions with experienced counterparties who had opposing views based on all available information at the time. We were straightforward in our dislike of these securities, but the vast majority of people in the market thought we were dead wrong and openly and aggressively purchased the securities we were selling.”
Still, the details unearthed by the S.E.C. in its investigation show a deep involvement by Mr. Paulson in the creation of the investment, known as Abacus 2007-AC1. For example, he approached Goldman about constructing and marketing the debt security.
After analyzing risky mortgages made on homes in Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada, where the housing markets had overheated, Mr. Paulson went to Goldman to talk about how he could bet against those loans. He focused his analysis on adjustable-rate loans taken out by borrowers with relatively low credit scores and turned up more than 100 loan pools that he considered vulnerable, the S.E.C. said.
Mr. Paulson then asked Goldman to put together a portfolio of these pools, or others like them that he could wager against. He paid $15 million to Goldman for creating and marketing the Abacus deal, the complaint says.
One of a small cohort of money managers who saw the mortgage market in late 2006 as a bubble waiting to burst, Mr. Paulson capitalized on the opacity of mortgage-related securities that Wall Street cobbled together and sold to its clients. These instruments contained thousands of mortgage loans that few investors bothered to analyze.
Instead, the buyers relied on the opinions of credit ratings agencies like Moody’sStandard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. These turned out to be overly rosy, and investors suffered hundreds of billions in losses when the loans underlying these securities went bad.
Mr. Paulson personally made an estimated $3.7 billion in 2007 as a result of his hedge fund’s performance, and another $2 billion in 2008.

Ecco l'aggiornamento al 16 aprile 2010.

2 commenti:

Antonio ha detto...

Il Senatore Dodd è un classico esempio di iper-regolatore che identifica nello Stato il garante ultimo di tutte le iniziative e attività del cittadino e delle imprese. Qualcuno in america direbbe 'socialist' ... vedi il mitico Alce Sembra comunque un tipico caso in cui il politico disegna una legge senza conoscere il contesto, e quindi con potenziali impatti devastanti. Vedete qui
Consoliamoci comunque, perchè qui da noi sul tema dell' informal capital investing siamo all'età della pietra, basta passare le Alpi per trovare una nazione che ha capito da tempo che l'investimento privato in startup genera solo benefici (vedi: no tax sul capital gain su SMB di nuova costituzione)

Stefano Marmi ha detto...

Antonio puoi dilungarti un po' di più sul tema delle agevolazioni fiscali per gli investitori in startup negli altri paesi europei? Hai anche qualche dato sulle dimensioni del fenomeno nei paesi europei?