Bass says China Bank losses may top 400pc of subprime crisis
Kyle Bass, the hedge fund manager who successfully bet against mortgages during the subprime crisis, said China's banking system may see losses of more than four times those suffered by U.S. banks during the last crisis. Should the Chinese banking system lose 10 percent of its assets because of nonperforming loans, the nation's banks will see about $3.5 trillion in equity vanish, Bass, the founder of Dallas-based Hayman Capital Management, wrote in a letter to investors obtained by Bloomberg. The world's second-biggest econo- my may end up having to print more than $10 trillion of yuan to recapitalize banks, pressuring the currency to devalue in excess of 30 percent against the dollar, according to Bass.
Bass, 46, scored big after betting against mortgages in 2007, racking up gains as the world's largest banks wrote off more than $80 billion in subprime losses. All his calls haven't been as prescient. He revealed wagering on a collapse in Japan's government-bond market in 2010, a short position that Bass later acknowledged that other bond investors had nicknamed "the widow maker." "What we are witnessing is the resetting of the largest macro imbalance the world has ever seen," he wrote in the letter. "Credit in China has reached its near-term limit, and the Chinese banking system will experience a loss cycle that will have profound implications for the rest of the world."
Bass said his hedge fund has sold most of its riskier assets since the middle of last year to position itself for 18 months of "various events that are likely to transpire along this long road to a Chinese credit and currency reset." In an e-mailed response to questions, he said about 85 percent of his portfolio is invested in China-related trades. "The problems China faces have no precedent," Bass wrote in the letter. "They are so large that it will take every ounce of commitment by Chinese government to rectify the imbalances.