Kitov (Modeling share prices of banks and bankruptcies) has modeled the evolution of share prices of several financial companies from the S&P 500 between May 2008 and December 2009. It was found that some predicted share prices sank below the zero line. Under our framework, the presence of a negative stock price may be considered as an equivalent to a net debt. When long enough and without any positive prospects, such a debt would likely result in a bankruptcy.
In reality, some companies with negative predicted share prices declared bankruptcy, some were bailed out and some have been suffering tremendous difficulties since 2008. The first group is represented by Lehman Brothers who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 15, 2008. The net bank debt was estimated at the level of $600 billion. More than 100 banks have filed for bankruptcy since then.
Several banks were bailed out, with American International Group (NYSE:AIG) the first to obtain a $150 billion government bailout. The AIG bailout was presented as a major move to save the collapsing US financial system. The biggest examples of bailout are also Fannie May (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). All three companies had a sharp share price fall in the second half of 2008.
CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) got $2.3 billion of bailout money in December 2008 and a $3 billion bond holder bailout in July 2009. However, it did not help and CIT declared bankruptcy in November 2009. These companies and many others have been struggling and likely will struggle in the future trying to restructure their debts and re-enter the stock market.
We seek to answer a number of questions:
Was it possible to predict the evolution of total debt of the bankrupts?
Was it possible to predict the dates of these bankruptcies?
Is it possible to predict the date of recovery?
It is possible to predict future bankruptcies?
Which company had to be bailed out and when?
All S&P 500 models with negative share prices were obtained together with other models for May 2008. In this regard we should not distinguish them. The reason for a separate investigation consists in the fact that negative share prices might result in bankruptcies. This is a phenomenon not described quantitatively by our models and thus deserving special attention. Otherwise, all models were equivalent and obtained according to the same procedures. It is worth noting that the models for the same companies obtained in October 2009 are highly biased by bailouts or do not exist together with bankrupt companies.
Table 4. Models for 10 companies: May, September and December 2008, and October 2009. (Tables are available in the original paper)
Table 4 lists 10 models with predicted negative or very close to negative prices as obtained in May, September and December 2008 as well as in October 2009. Figure 3 displays corresponding predicted and observed curves between July 2003 and December 2009. American International Group has a very stable model for the entire period as defined by the DIAR and SEFV. Theoretically, the company should suffer a rapid drop in share price from ~$1400 to the level of about -$300. In reality, this fall was stopped by a bailout with the share price hovering between $10 and $50 by the end of 2008 and through 2009. According to all four models the price should start growing in 2010. It will be an important test for our pricing concept.
For Citigroup (NYSE:C), the models obtained in 2008 are similar and are based on the indices of food and rent of primary residence. Figure 3 demonstrate that negative prices were expected in the end of 2008. All three models predicted the bottom price at -$30. In October 2009, the defining CPI components are different as the model tries to describe the price near $2.
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The history of CIT Group (CIT) includes two attempts of bailout and a bankruptcy in November 2009 with a total debt of $10 billion. In Figure 3, the May 2008 model predicts a very deep fall in the share price. Other two models in 2008 demonstrate just a modest fall below the zero line. The bailouts have likely biased the October 2009 model and it predicts the company to recover in 2010. It would be a good exercise similar to that for the AIG model. Unfortunately, the history of CIT Group has ended with a bankruptcy, as expected.
Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac were both bailed out in September 2008. As depicts Figure 3, the models between May and December 2008 are all different. However, all of them predicted negative prices. The models for FNM imply the bottom price level of -$50 to -$60 and the pivot point somewhere in 2009. The models for FRE do predict negative prices with the bottom at -$30, but only the September model has a pivot point.
Lehman Brothers was one of the first giant companies to file for bankruptcy protection in September 2008. The May 2009 model does predict negative prices in the beginning of 2009. The September and December 2009 models are likely biased by the bankruptcy but both indicate a deep fall in the price. It is important to stress that the bottom price for LEH was predicted at -$20 with a quick return into the positive zone. Therefore, the risk might be overestimated.
The models predicted for FITB, LM, MCO and MS are presented to emphasize the problem of resolution and selection of a valid model. For these four companies there is at least one model predicting negative or very close to zero prices. In reality, no one of them has touched the zero line. Moreover, they have not been falling since the end of 2008. So, in order to obtain an accurate prediction one should the best resolution, which might be guaranteed by the higher possible dynamic range. The 2008 crisis and the following recovery allowed the biggest change in the S&P share prices. Hence, the models obtained in 2010 have to be the most resolved and thus the most reliable. Good news is that these models will be valid in the future, but with different coefficients (Kitov, 2010).
A deterministic model has been developed for the prediction of stock prices at a horizon of several months. The model links the shares of traded companies to consumer price indices. In this paper, we presented empirical models for financial companies from the S&P 500 list. In May 2008, the model predicted negative share prices in the second half of 2008 for Lehman Brothers, American International Group, Freddie Mac. With known defining CPI components one could predict the approaching bankruptcies. This makes of crucial importance the estimation of correct empirical models, i.e. defining CPIs, for all shares. When reversed, the model also makes it is possible to predict the evolution of various CPI subcategories.
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