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  #1  
Old 05-20-2007, 11:26 PM
CrazyAce CrazyAce is offline
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Default Explain \"buying debt\"

I read this paragraph:

"Just about everybody thought Lampert was crazy in 2002 when he began buying up Kmart debt at around 40 cents on the dollar after the retailer filed for Chapter 11. Crazier still, Lampert loaded up more as the price sank to 20 cents, eventually boosting his total investment to $700 million."

And I simply do not understand what "buying debt" means, at least in this context.

I've Googled 7 ways to Sunday and can't find an explanation.

Can someone give me a rundown of "buying debt," and, if you're so kind, apply it to the article segment I quoted.

Thanks guys
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2007, 11:53 PM
Evan Evan is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"

It's a more complicated form of lending someone money. Basically though, you're lending someone money.

In your example, he bought $1 of face value debt for $0.40. This means he bought a promise to be paid $1 for $0.40.
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2007, 11:54 PM
DcifrThs DcifrThs is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"

well it could mean 2 things:

1) buying the liabilities of the company from creditors (literal creditors. like wholesalers that provide kmart inventory via accts receivable)

2) buying the corporate bonds (if the company is not in bankruptcy...if it is, i don't know if corporate bonds still trade or if they stop trading until the creditors work out what % they get and what is left for bondholders? and then are the bonds sold to people who could buy them?)...in this case, buying debt in terms of bonds may be evaluated as "kmart issued a bond with a 1k face value. it is now trading at $200 (aka 20% or 20 cents on the dollar). therefore buying that debt may be doing so when it is overly cheap."

i think it is the latter.

Barron
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2007, 12:12 AM
AvivaSimplex AvivaSimplex is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"

In this case it's 2, though 1 does happen, usually through specialized debt collection agencies. Corporate bonds do continue to trade through bankruptcy, with their value varying based on the expected outcome of the bankruptcy.
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2007, 03:34 AM
DcifrThs DcifrThs is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"

[ QUOTE ]
In this case it's 2, though 1 does happen, usually through specialized debt collection agencies. Corporate bonds do continue to trade through bankruptcy, with their value varying based on the expected outcome of the bankruptcy.

[/ QUOTE ]

thanks, clears that right up!

whats the relative price volatility of corporate debt after a chapter 11 files? i'd think it would rise significantly.

are there options on corporate debt? thats a good way to bet on bankruptcy i think if it were feasible, buy OTM puts on the debt if you think there is a larger than priced in chance the corporation will file chapter 11.

how would those options trade? i would assume that as the probability of bankruptcy becomes not insignificant, those options start to price in that extra volatility. but if you get in early enough, i would think that you would make a ton on the rise in implied volatility.

is this analysis correct? did i miss something?

are these types of bets available? do you know anyone or have you had experience w/ those types of situations?

sorry to just ask questions w/o serious research but if you know that would save me the trouble and i'd be much obliged.

thanks,
Barron
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2007, 09:53 AM
Groty Groty is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"



[/ QUOTE ] are there options on corporate debt? thats a good way to bet on bankruptcy i think if it were feasible, buy OTM puts on the debt if you think there is a larger than priced in chance the corporation will file chapter 11.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes. They're called credit default swaps. All the big investment banks make a market in them. It's a non-transparent, very lightly regulated market making it nearly impossible to know who owns them, who has written them, or whether or not the writer of the option will be willing and able to perform in the event of a credit default. They trade over the counter and don't go through an option clearing house, so it's really the wild west.

In the benign credit environment of the recent past, writing credit default swaps has been like free money. Hedge funds have approached them like insurance, belieiving that if they write CDS on a large number of creditors, the premia from the issuers who don't default will cover their obligations against the few that do after recovery. They certainly have super sophisticated models to assess value at risk, but it's really a grand untested experiment. My feeling is that adverse events in insurance happen more or less randomly. For example, if a neighbors house 3 blocks aways accidently catches on fire, there's no reason to think my house will accidently catch fire. But when an economy turns down, financial distress begets financial distress. The primary element of randomness that makes insurance work is violated. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out in the next downturn.

CDS do add to volatilty. Delphi is a good example. Before Delphi defaulted a couple of years ago, the notional value of the CDS written on Delphi debt far exceeded the par value of the Delphi debt outstanding. Perversely, when Delphi finally filed for bankrtupty, the value of Delphi's bonds actually spiked. Did they spike because the debt had suddenly become more valuable upon the bankruptcy filing? No, they spiked because many of the writers of the credit default swaps bought the bonds in the open market at a discount to par rather than risk having the credit default swaps assigned to them at par.
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2007, 10:43 AM
CrazyAce CrazyAce is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"

Thanks guys, you've answered my question and more
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  #8  
Old 05-21-2007, 10:59 AM
livinitup0 livinitup0 is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"

LOl at buying sub prime Kmart debt for .40 on the dollar!

Ive collected on a huge amount of "bought paper" and 40% is a ridiculous price....something closer to 5-7% is the norm, 7% being very high.

Especially since charged of retail credit cards usually liquidate (successfully recovewred) at less thn 15% over a year and usually cap off at about 20% (on a really good batch)

Ive never heard of this guy before but seriously, 40% is a huge rip off, and I dont buy this one bit. There would be 0 ways to make money on this unless he wqas buying A tier credit stuff.....which isnt sold...the banks sue those people.

The bought paper is usally just debtors that have moved, some have filed bankruptcy, or refused to pay the bill in the past.

Google "buying charge offs" or something like that and you'll see what I mean. I know one place "chargeoff clearinghouses" used to sell portfolios per state and credit teir.

If you really want to make money doing this then buy some credit card portfolios for like 5% yhen have an attorney send out demand letters and offer letters to settle for 40-50% of the debt. You have to be licensed as a collection agency as well to take ownership over the debt. Or buy fewer, but larger debts and just have an attorney in the area sue the debtors with assests, and write off the ones that dont. Theres money in this...but you have to know a decent amount about risk management.

You'll also need some good skiptracers because the majority of the contact information you get with these accounts will be outdated.


If anyone is really serious about this PM me for more infomation.

(sorry for the spelling mistakes....im in a hurry)
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  #9  
Old 05-21-2007, 11:17 AM
CrazyAce CrazyAce is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"

The guy in question is renowned investor Eddie Lampert. He came out pretty well on this "ripoff"

http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/03/news...pert/index.htm
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2007, 11:20 AM
beardedwhale beardedwhale is offline
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Default Re: Explain \"buying debt\"

The OP is talking about corporate debt. You seem to be referring to consumer loans.
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