Steve Eisman: short Canada

Steve Eisman, the man who made his name by betting against the US housing market ahead of the subprime crash in 2008 now has Canada in his sites.

940_MW_P14_Guru

Steve Eisman, portfolio manager, Neuberger Berman Group

The man who made his name by betting against the US housing market ahead of the subprime crash in 2008 now has Canada in his sites. Steve Eisman, whose hugely profitable short-selling was made famous by the Michael Lewis book (then film), The Big Short, is quick to tell the Financial Times that his bet against the Canadian market is not on the same scale as his historic short on the US. "This is not The Big Short: Canada'. I'm not calling for a housing collapse."

Yet even just "a simple normalisation of credit" will have a big impact on Canada's banking sector, which has grown rather too used to soaring property prices. Like many stubbornly overpriced housing markets across the globe, Canada's has finally started to crack, with prices falling year-on-year nationwide in January, for the first time since 2009. Eisman hasn't singled out the specific "big six" Canadian banks he is shorting, but for now, the most popular target for short sellers is TD Bank, notes the FT. Others include CIBC and Bank of Montreal.

Eisman has been negative on Canadian banks for some time. As sceptical BMO economist Doug Porter tells Bloomberg, "we have heard this story many, many times before." Yet Crescat Capital one of the top hedge funds in the US last year is also shorting the banks. Not only do they have to contend with falling house prices, notes the fund, but Canadian firms are among the most vulnerable to recession in the world, with most failing to make enough free cash flow to support themselves.

Recommended

The British equity market is shrinking
Stockmarkets

The British equity market is shrinking

British startups are abandoning public stockmarkets and turning to deep-pocketed Silicon Valley venture capitalists for their investment needs.
8 Nov 2019
Shaniel Ramjee: tech stocks, China and Japan – where to find the best returns
Investment strategy

Shaniel Ramjee: tech stocks, China and Japan – where to find the best returns

Merryn talks to Shaniel Ramjee of Pictet Asset Management about where to find the best returns in global markets right now – the continued growth of t…
20 Oct 2020
Cash rich and bored? Be careful what you do with your money
Investment strategy

Cash rich and bored? Be careful what you do with your money

As the pandemic has left many people with more time on their hands but little opportunity to spend, they have been speculating in the markets. But don…
19 Oct 2020
Will fintech change the face of banking?
Alternative finance

Will fintech change the face of banking?

Fancy new apps have become popular for everything from making a payment to buying insurance and shares. Should the big banks be worried? Simon Wilson …
17 Oct 2020

Most Popular

How will we repay our vast debt pile? Do we even need to?
Sponsored

How will we repay our vast debt pile? Do we even need to?

In his recent articles looking at different aspects of the fixed-income investing world, David Stevenson looked at inflation. Today he looks at a clos…
19 Oct 2020
Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts
Bank accounts

Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts

Negative interest rates are likely to mean the introduction of fees for current accounts and other banking products. But that might make the UK bankin…
19 Oct 2020
The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm
Bitcoin

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm

The Bank of England could win the race to create a respectable digital currency if it moves quickly, says Matthew Lynn.
18 Oct 2020