Think the financial hurricane has passed? According to one widely followed investor, this is the eye of the storm.
Whitney Tilson, the founder of hedge fund T2 Partners who predicted the credit crisis late last year, has spotted more storm clouds swirling on the horizon. And we’re not just talking a passing shower – we’re talking run for cover.
Wall Street will be facing " a headwind of continued losses for the better part of five years," Tilson says. In fact Tilson warns that another financial hurricane could be coming. What’s turning blue skies to gray?
It’s the real estate market. According to Tilson it’s far from healed - -and it’s about to drag down stocks.
”I think we’re in the fifth inning of the credit crisis,” he says on Fast Money. “We’re only about halfway through.”
Tilson firmly believes that there’s more mortgage meltdown to come. In fact, he wrote a book about it aptly called "More Mortgage Meltdown" in which he says losses in residential and commercial real estate that still lie ahead – could total more than $1 trillion. That’s trillion with a “T”.
With unemployment a looming problem, Tilson predicts that mortgage defaults are about to skyrocket— the same with consumer loans.
Also he fully expects trouble in commercial real estate – “the reason it hasn’t suffered badly so far is that they’re dealing with interest only loans with 5 and 10 year re-sets. Borrowers have been able to make interest payments. It’s upon re-set that they probably won’t be able to refinance.”
The damage Tilson forecasts is kind of scary.
“There are probably going to be $700 billion of losses in total over the next 8 years and we’ve only seen a few billion of it because those loans haven’t reset,” he tells the traders.
You know the rest – loans go bad – generating more toxic assets. Those toxic assets hit the banks’ balance sheets – bringing bank shares under pressure. The downward spiral just picks up speed from there.
Fortunately there's still time to take shelter. Tilson beleives that investors can not only weather the impending storm, but thrive from the turmoil -- providing they’re positioned properly.
In a Reuters report Tilson suggests shorting homebuilders Centex and Pulte Homes because, there is "virtually no need" for their product for years.
Tilson also thinks regional banks such as Regions are worth shoriting as well as bond insurer MBIA which he says is so “under-reserved for losses that it could be seized this year.”
T2 warns of "more mortgage meltdown," cuts financials
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Trader disclosure: On May 20th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (AGU), (F), (SKF), (SDS); Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Terranova Owns (ABT), (TER), (JOYG), (XBI), (X), (HES); Terranova Owns Oil Futures;p Terranova Owns Nat Gas Futures; Terranova Owns (DIS) Calls; Terranova Owns (XOM) Calls; Terranova Owns June Gold Futures; Najarian Owns (ISIS); Najarian Owns (APC) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (BBY) Put Spread; Najarian Owns (BX) Calls; Najarian Owns (INTC) Calls; Najarian Owns (MOS) Call Spread; Najarian OWns (XHB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XLB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XLU) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (PCU) Calls
For Whitney Tilson:
Funds That Tilson Co-Manages Are Long (AXP)
Funds That Tilson Co-Manages Are Long (WFC)
Funds That Tilson Co-Manages Are Short (MBI)
Funds That Tilson Co-Manages Are Short (BAC)
Funds That Tilson Co-Manages Are Short (ZION)
Funds That Tilson Co-Manages Are Short (RF)