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Is Housing A Bubble That’s About To Crash?

Is Housing A Bubble That’s About To Crash?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

We are all prone to believing the recent past…

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Is Housing A Bubble That's About To Crash?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

We are all prone to believing the recent past is a reliable guide to the future. But in times of dynamic reversals, the past is an anchor thwarting our progress, not a forecast.

Are we heading into another real estate bubble / crash? Those who say "no" see the housing shortage as real, while those who say "yes" see the demand as a reflection of the Federal Reserve's artificial goosing of the housing market via its unprecedented purchases of mortgage-backed securities and "easy money" financial conditions.

My colleague CH at econimica.blogspot.com recently posted charts calling this assumption into question. The first chart (below) shows the U.S. population growth rate plummeting as housing starts soar, and the second chart shows housing unit per capita, which has just reached the same extreme as the 2008 housing bubble.

Demographics and housing do not reflect a housing shortage nationally, though there could be scarcities locally, of course, and other factors such as thousands of units being held off the market as short-term rentals or investments by overseas buyers who have no interest in renting their investment dwellings.

On a per capita basis, housing has reached previous bubble levels. That suggests housing shortages are artificial or local, not structural.

Next, let's consider how the current housing bubble differs from previous bubbles in the late 1970s and 2000s. In my view, the previous bubbles were driven by demographics, inflation and monetary policy: in the late 70s, the 65 million-strong Baby Boom generation began buying their first homes, pushing demand higher while inflation soared, making real-world assets such as housing more desirable.

Once the Federal Reserve pushed interest rates to 18%, mortgage rates rose in lockstep and housing crashed as few could afford sky-high housing prices at sky-high mortgage rates.

The housing bubble of 2007-08 was largely driven by declines in mortgage rates (as the Fed pursued an "easy money" policy to escape the negative effects of the Dot-Com stock market bubble crash) and a loosening of credit/mortgage standards. These fueled a bubble that morphed into a speculative free-for-all of no-down payment and no-document loans.

This decline in the cost of borrowing money (mortgage rates) enabled a sharp rise in the price of housing, a speculative boom that was greatly accelerated by "innovations" in the mortgage market such as zero down payments loans, interest-only loans, home equity loans, and no-document "liar loans"--mortgages underwritten without the usual documentation of income and net worth.

These forces generated a speculative frenzy of house-flipping, leveraging the equity in the family home to buy two or three homes under construction and selling them before they were even completed for fat profits, and so on.

Needless to say, the pool of potential buyers expanded tremendously when people earning $25,000 a year could buy $500,000 houses on speculation.

Once the bubble popped, the pool of buyers shrank along with the home equity.

If we study this chart below of new home prices (courtesy of Mac10), we can see that the 21st century's Bubble #2 rose as the Federal Reserve pushed mortgage rates far below historic norms. Once rates reached a bottom, the 7-year inflation of home prices (from 2011 to 2018) began rolling over.

This deflation of home prices was reversed by the pandemic recession, as the Fed's vast expansion of credit and mortgage-buying, which pushed mortgage rates to new lows. Trillions of dollars in new credit and cash stimulus ignited a speculative frenzy in stocks, bonds and real estate, a frenzy which drove bubble #3 to extraordinary heights.

All this unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus also ignited inflation, and so rates are rising in response. Bubble #3 is already deflating, at least by the measure of new home prices.

But the current bubble has a number of dynamics that weren't big factors in previous bubbles.

One is the rise of remote work. Many people have been working remotely since the late 1990s enabled Internet-based work, but the pandemic greatly increased the pool of employers willing to accept remote work as a permanent feature of employment.

This trend has been well documented, but the consequences are still unfolding: remote workers are no longer trapped in unaffordable, congested cities and suburbs.

Several other trends have attracted much less attention, but I see them as equally consequential.

1. Housing in many urban zones are out of reach of all but the top 10% without extraordinary sacrifice, and now that employment isn't necessarily tied to urban zones, the bottom 90% of young people without family wealth or high incomes are coming to realize the benefits of urban living are not worth the extreme sacrifices needed to buy an overvalued house.

A middle-class life--home ownership, financial security, leisure and surplus income to invest in one's family and well-being--is no longer affordable for the majority of young Americans.

Few are willing to concede this because it reveals the neofeudal nature of American life. Those who bought homes in coastal urban zones 20+ years ago are wealthy due to soaring housing valuations while young people can't even afford the rent, much less buying a house.

If you're not making $250,000 or more a year as a couple, the only hope for a middle-class life that includes leisure and some surplus income to invest is top move to some place with much lower housing and other costs. That place is rural America.

2. The benefits of urban living are deteriorating while the sacrifices and downsides are increasing. Urban living is fun if you're wealthy, not so fun if you don't have plenty of surplus income to spend.

Urban problems such as homelessness, traffic congestion and crime are endemic and unresolvable, though few are willing to state the obvious. Americans are expected to be optimistic and to count on some new whiz-bang technology to solve all problems.

Unfortunately, problems generated by dysfunctional, overly complex institutions, corruption and unaffordable costs can't be solved by some new technology, and so the decay of cities will only gather momentum.

The hope that billions of federal stimulus funding would solve these problems is about to encounter reality as the funds dry up and all the problems remain or have actually expanded despite massive "investments" in solutions.

Few analysts have looked at the finances of high-cost cities. The decline in bricks-and-mortar retail, rising crime, soaring junk fees, rents and property taxes have all made urban small business insanely costly and therefore risky.

Small businesses are the core sources of employment and taxes. As high costs, crime, etc. choke small businesses, employment and tax revenues drop and commercial real estate sits empty, generating decay and defaults.

Once office and retail space is no longer affordable or necessary, commercial real estate crashes in value as owners who bought at the top default and go bankrupt.

People need shelter but they don't need office space or to start a bricks-and-mortar retail business.

As urban finances unravel, cities won't have the funding to run their bloated, inefficient, overly complex and unaccountable bureaucracies.

3. In geopolitics, we speak of the core and the periphery. Empires have a core (Rome and central Italy in the Roman Empire) and a periphery (Britain, North Africa, Egypt, the Levant).

As finances and trade decay and costs soar, the periphery is surrendered to maintain the core.

In urban zones, the same dynamic will become increasingly visible: the peripheral neighborhoods will be underfunded to continue protecting the wealthy enclaves.

Crime will skyrocket in the periphery even as residents of the wealthy enclaves see little decay in their neighborhoods.

This asymmetry--already extreme--will drive social unrest and disorder. This is a self-reinforcing feedback: as the periphery neighborhoods deteriorate, the remaining businesses flee and the smart money sells and moves away.

Tax revenues plummet and city services decay even further, persuading hangers-on to move before it gets even worse. Cities compensate for the lower revenues by increasing taxes on the remaining residents and cutting services.

Each turn of the screw triggers more closures and selling and fewer tax revenues.

4. Dependency chains will become increasingly consequential: the greater a city's dependency on essentials trucked/shipped from hundreds or thousands of of kilometers/miles away, the more prone that city will be to disruptions of essentials: food, energy, materials and infrastructure.

Though few are willing to dwell on such vulnerabilities, most cities are totally dependent on diesel fueled fleets of trucks, rail and jet fuel for luxuries flown in from afar for virtually all goods. Cities produce very little in the way of essentials such as food and energy.

The past reliability of long supply chains has instilled a confidence that these supply chains stretching thousands of kilometers and miles are unbreakable and forever. They aren't, and the initial disruptions will be a great shock to Americans who believe full gas tanks and fully stocked store shelves are their birthright.

5. As I've explained in my new book Global Crisis, National Renewalthe era of cheap, reliable abundance has drawn to a close and now we are entering an era of scarcity in essentials.

Another reality few discuss is the relative stability of global weather over the past 40 years. As weather becomes less reliable, so too do crop yields and food supplies.

Globalization has poured capital into expanding acreage under cultivation to the point that the planet's forests are being decimated to grow more soy to feed animals to be slaughtered for human consumption.

On the margins, land that was once productive has been lost to desertification. Fresh water aquifers have been drained and glaciers feeding rivers are melting away. Soil fertility has declined even as fertilizer use has expanded.

The low-hanging fruit of GMO seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and Green Revolution hybrids have all been plucked. The gains have been reaped but now the downsides of these dependencies are becoming increasingly consequential: fertilizer costs are rising fast, insects and diseases are evading chemicals and vaccines, and the vulnerabilities of mono-crop, industrialized agriculture and animal husbandry threaten to cascade into crop failures, soaring prices and shortages.

6. This will have two consequences: rural incomes which have been falling for decades due to globalization (i.e. bringing in cheap food from places with no environmental standards, cheap labor and few taxes / social costs) will start rising sharply, fueling a reversal in the long decline of rural communities based on agricultural income.

The soaring costs of essentials will reduce the disposable income of the bottom 90%, reducing the money they'll have to spend on eating out, retail shopping, etc.--all the surplus spending that drives cities' economies and tax revenues.

Few (if any) commentators forecast a cyclical reversal of the demographic trend of people moving from rural locales to cities. I think this trend has already reversed and will gather momentum as cities become increasingly unlivable, disposable incomes decline as scarcities push prices higher and people flee for lower cost, more secure environs.

7. As I often note, following what the super-wealthy are doing is a pretty sound investment strategy because the super-wealthy spend freely to buy the best advice and are highly motivated to protect their wealth.

People who live in well-known, highly desirable rural towns (Telluride, Jackson Hole, Lake Tahoe, etc.) are describing a feeding frenzy of wealthy urbanites buying multi-million dollar homes. Small cities such as Bozeman, MT and Ashville, NC are experiencing a flood of new residents that is straining infrastructure and pushing housing prices out of reach for local residents with average wages.

8. Rural towns in the U.S., Italy, Japan and even Switzerland are trying to attract new residents with offers of free land, subsidized rent, low cost homes, etc. This shows that the trends are global and not limited to any one nation. Would you take free land in rural America?

The decay of urban life isn't yet consequential enough to push people into making a major move, but once someone has been robbed, repeatedly found human feces on their doorstep or experienced scarcities that trigger the madness of crowds, the decision to leave becomes much, much easier.

Some cities will manage the decline of employment and tax revenues more gracefully than others. Most will suffer from the dynamic I've often described on the blog: the Ratchet Effect. Costs move effortlessly higher as tax revenues have increased in one speculative bubble after another, but once revenues drop, cities have no mechanisms or political constituency to manage a sharp, long-term decline in revenues.

They then become prone to the other dynamic I've described, the Rising Wedge Breakdown (see chart below): as agencies and institutions become sclerotic, unaccountable and self-serving, even a relatively modest cut in revenues triggers institutional collapse, as the system requires 100% funding to function. A 10% reduction doesn't cause a 10% decline in service, it causes an 50% decline in service, on the way to complete dysfunction.

Few believe cities can unravel, but remote work, geographic arbitrage (discussed below), tightening credit, rising crime, the decline of commercial real estate, end of massive stimulus, scarcities, the madness of crowds, the decline of civic services and amenities and an insanely high cost of living all have consequences and second-order effects.

What were beneficial synergies become fatal synergies as dynamics reverse and begin reinforcing each other.

So let's put all this together.

A. The cycle of declining interest rates and inflation has ended and a cycle of much higher interest and mortgage rates and inflation is beginning. Higher mortgages rates will depress housing prices as only the highest income households will be able to afford today's prices once mortgage rates rise.

B. The decay of urban finances and quality of life will accelerate as stimulus ends, credit dries up and inflation decimates disposable income.

C. The stress of trying to make enough money to afford the high costs of city/suburban living as the real estate bubble pops and the benefits of city living decline will burn out increasing numbers of people who will have no choice but to find more affordable, more secure and more livable places.

D. While the wealthy have already secured second or third homes in the toniest desirable towns, there are still opportunities for lower cost, more secure residences in rural areas.

E. This migration, even at the margins, will further depress urban housing prices and push prices in desirable rural locales higher.

F. This migration will have regional, ethnic and cultural variations. For example, some African-Americans leaving the upper Midwest are finding favor with communities in the South where family, church and cultural ties beckon.

G. Correspondent John F. used the phrase geographic arbitrage which means earning money remotely in high-wage sectors while living some place that's low cost and secure.

I wrote about this many years ago in my post about young Japanese maintaining a part-time remote-work gig while pursuing farming in rural communities: Degrowth Solutions: Half-Farmer, Half-X (July 19, 2014).

H. Though monetary / inflationary forces will pop housing prices based solely on low mortgage rates, this doesn't mean housing everywhere will decline: as burned out urbanites seek lower cost, more secure and livable places in rural locales, homes in desirable towns and small cities could rise sharply because they're starting from such low levels.

I. If urban areas decay rapidly, housing prices could plummet much faster than most people think possible.

When cities lose employment, tax revenues and desirability, they can go down fast. Property values can fall in half and then by 90%.

How is this possible? Supply and demand: if demand falls off a cliff, there won't be buyers for thousands of homes that come on the market all at once. This is just like a stock market in which buyers disappear, as no one wants to buy an asset that's rapidly losing value.

As I've noted many times, prices for assets are set on the margins: the last sale of a house resets the price for the entire neighborhood.

The stock market is easily manipulated by the big players, who can stop a slide in prices by buying huge chunks of stocks and call options. There are no equivalent forces which can stop a decline in housing prices.

And since rates will rise regardless of what the Federal Reserve does because global capital is demanding a real return above inflation, then the hope for lower mortgage rates to support bubble-level housing prices will be in vain.

How low could housing go? As explained above, there will likely be very asymmetric declines and increases in housing valuations going forward. But on a technical-analysis level, we can anticipate a general decline to previous lows, first to the 2019 lows and then to the 2011 lows.

Some analysts believe inflation will funnel capital into housing as investors seek assets that will go up with inflation, but this is a murky forecast: the bottom 90% of American households are already priced out of coastal housing, so inflation only robs their wages of purchasing power. They don't have any hope of buying a house anywhere near current prices.

Corporations are buying thousands of houses for the rental income, but once all the stimulus runs out and the excesses of speculation reverse, they'll find few renters can afford their sky-high rents. At that point corporate buyers become corporate sellers, but they won't find buyers willing or able to pay their asking prices, which are based on bubble pricing, not reality.

All these swirling currents will affect housing valuations in different places differently. Some areas could see 50% declines while others see 50% increases, regardless of mortgage rates or Fed policy.

What will become most desirable is a low cost of living, security and livability, which includes community, reduced dependency on long supply chains and local production of essentials.

We are all prone to believing the recent past is a reliable guide to the future. But in times of dynamic reversals, the past is an anchor thwarting our progress, not a forecast.

*  *  *

This essay was first published as a weekly Musings Report sent exclusively to subscribers and patrons at the $5/month ($54/year) and higher level. Thank you, patrons and subscribers, for supporting my work and free website.

My new book is now available at a 10% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20). If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Tyler Durden Mon, 05/02/2022 - 12:05

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No sign of major crude oil price decline any time soon

Bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing Crude oil prices fell last week, notching their second weekly decline in the face of…

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Bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing

Crude oil prices fell last week, notching their second weekly decline in the face of concern that rising interest rates could push the global economy into recession.

Yet the future of crude oil still seems bullish to many. Spare capacity, or lack of it, is just one of the reasons.

The global surplus of crude production capacity in May was less than half the 2021 average, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Friday.

The EIA estimated that as of May, producers in nations not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had about 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) of surplus capacity, down sharply from 1.4 million bpd in 2021. It said 60 per cent of the May 2021 figure was from Russia, which is increasingly under sanctions related to its invasion of Ukraine.

The OPEC+ alliance of oil producers is running out of capacity to pump crude, and that includes its most significant member, Saudi Arabia, Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva told Bloomberg last week.

“Some people believe the prices to be a little bit on the high side and expect us to pump a little bit more, but at this moment there is really little additional capacity,” Sylva said in a briefing with reporters on Friday. “Even Saudi Arabia, Russia, of course, Russia, is out of the market now more or less.” Nigeria was also unable to fulfil its output obligations, added Sylva.

Recent COVID-19-related lockdowns in parts of China – the world’s largest crude importer – also played a significant role in the global oil dynamics. The lack of Chinese oil consumption due to the lockdowns helped keep the markets in a check – somewhat.

Oil prices haven’t peaked yet because Chinese demand has yet to return to normal, a United Arab Emirates official told a conference in Jordan early this month. “If we continue consuming, with the pace of consumption we have, we are nowhere near the peak because China is not back yet,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said. “China will come with more consumption.”

Al-Mazrouei warned that without more investment across the globe, OPEC and its allies can’t guarantee sufficient supplies of oil as demand fully recovers from the pandemic.

But the check on the Chinese crude consumption seems to be easing.

On Saturday, Beijing, a city of 21 million-plus people, announced that primary and secondary schools would resume in-person classes. And as life seemed to return to normal, the Universal Beijing Resort, which was closed for nearly two months, reopened on Saturday.

Chinese economic hub Shanghai, with a population of 28 million-plus people, also declared victory over COVID after reporting zero new local cases for the first time in two months.

The two major cities were among several places in China that implemented curbs to stop the spread of the omicron wave from March to May.

But the easing of sanctions should mean oil’s price trajectory will resume its upward march.

In the meantime, in the U.S., the Biden administration is eying tougher anti-smog requirements. According to Bloomberg, that could negatively impact drilling across parts of the Permian Basin, which straddles Texas and New Mexico and is the world’s biggest oil field.

While the world is looking for clues about what the loss of supply from Russia will mean, reports are pouring in that the ongoing political turmoil in Libya could plague its oil output throughout the year.

The return of blockades on oilfields and export terminals amid renewed political tension is depriving the market of some of Libya’s oil at a time of tight global supply, said Tsvetana Paraskova in a piece for Oilrpice.com.

And in the ongoing political push to strangle Russian energy output, the G7 was reportedly discussing a price cap on oil imports from Russia. Western countries are increasingly frustrated that their efforts to squeeze out Russian energy supplies from the markets have had the counterproductive effect of driving up the global crude price, which is leading to Russia earning more money for its war chest.

To tackle the issue, and increase pressure on Russia, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is proposing a price cap on Russian crude oil sales. The idea is to lift the sanction on insurance for Russian crude cargo for countries that accept buying Russian oil at an agreed maximum price. Her proposal is aimed at squeezing Russian crude out of the market as much as possible.

So the bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing.

By Rashid Husain Syed

Toronto-based Rashid Husain Syed is a respected energy and political analyst. The Middle East is his area of focus. As well as writing for major local and global newspapers, Rashid is also a regular speaker at major international conferences. He has provided his perspective on global energy issues to the Department of Energy in Washington and the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Courtesy of Troy Media

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University of Cincinnati enrolling patients for PTSD clinical trials

About 8% of Americans will experience post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives, but there are still few effective options to treat the…

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About 8% of Americans will experience post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives, but there are still few effective options to treat the condition.

Credit: Photo/University of Cincinnati

About 8% of Americans will experience post-traumatic stress disorder at some point in their lives, but there are still few effective options to treat the condition.

“There are some medical treatments for PTSD and psychotherapies for PTSD, but patients continue to suffer with symptoms that aren’t responsive to the currently available treatments,” said Lesley Arnold, MD.

June is PTSD Awareness Month, and the University of Cincinnati is currently enrolling patients for clinical trials examining the effectiveness of different medications to better treat PTSD symptoms.

The basics

Arnold said PTSD is a common and often chronic disorder that develops after a traumatic event that is either personally experienced or witnessed by a person.

“People with PTSD often re-experience aspects of the original trauma and can develop symptoms such as avoidance of trauma reminders, negative thoughts and feelings and increased alertness to their surroundings,” said Arnold, director of the Women’s Health Research Program and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience in the UC College of Medicine.

Most people who are exposed to a trauma will have an acute stress response in the moment, Arnold said, but about 30% of those who experience a trauma develop PTSD. Symptoms can last for months or years and also include disrupted sleep or nightmares, issues with memory or focus and depression and anxiety. 

In people who are at higher risk for exposure to trauma, such as war veterans, PTSD occurs in even higher proportions, Arnold said. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exacerbated symptoms of PTSD for some individuals.

“It led to some isolation and made it difficult for individuals to seek treatment or to continue to engage in treatment,” Arnold said. 

New trials

Arnold and her team are focused on testing medication-based treatments that could help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD that have not responded to currently available medications, including sleeplessness and nightmares among others.

“The problem that we have is that there are two FDA medications approved for the treatment of PTSD, but these medications aren’t effective for everybody, and they take a long time to work,” Arnold said. 

Each of the clinical trials will test different novel drugs that take new approaches to treat unregulated neurotransmitters in the brain that are involved in PTSD. The randomized trials will measure the effectiveness of the medications compared to a placebo control group.

“We are in urgent need of treatments for PTSD,” Arnold said. “That’s why these trials are so important because they offer a novel approach that we hope to be effective in helping patients overcome the problems associated with PTSD and return to full function.”

Adults, both women and men, over the age of 18 with PTSD are eligible to participate in the trials, with patients with a variety of different trauma experiences being recruited. The trials will involve about three months of participation from patients.

“We’re asking for volunteers to help us with our trials, those individuals who continue to have symptoms of PTSD,” Arnold said. “We are conducting these trials actively, and I would encourage individuals to come forward to help.”

Arnold said there has been an increased interest in finding drug treatments for PTSD in about the last five years.

“This is an exciting time and a hopeful time for people with PTSD because we are actively seeking out better treatments,” she said. “There’s been a growing interest and a recognition of the unmet need in this population, so I’m really gratified to be able to have these trials going on now and to be able to offer some hope to individuals with PTSD.”

For more information on the PTSD trials at UC, call 513-558-6612.


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Why REV Stock is Trending After Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Will Revlon end up getting bought out after filing for bankruptcy? And if so, how will it affect investors holding REV stock?
The post Why REV Stock is…

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Revlon (NYSE: REV), the iconic beauty brand, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Meanwhile, REV stock rallied on the news as traders promoted the idea of a buyout on social media.

After implementing a new strategy to drive growth, Revlon did see business pick up last year. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the massive debt Revlon piled on throughout the years. Nonetheless, the company has been losing money since 2015.

The bankruptcy filing will help the company “reorganize its capital structure” and “improve its long-term outlook.”

Will it be enough to turn the company around? Revlon still faces intense competition and rising costs. Not to mention an uphill battle with its supply chain.

Yet the company has a strong portfolio of brands. On top of this, Revlon already has a buyout offer, according to reports. Will Revlon end up getting bought out? And if so, how will it affect investors holding REV stock?

Keep reading to learn why Revlon stock is trending and what you can expect next.

Why Is REV Stock Trending

The news of Revlon’s bankruptcy broke about two weeks ago. As a result, retail traders piled into REV stock, promoting it as a short squeeze candidate.

The announcement caused REV shares to first crater. And then, after hitting an all-time low of $1.08, Revlon shares rallied on heavy volume. Revlon stock soared over 800% within a week, gaining meme stock status.

Traders on social media sites such as Reddit and StockTwits compared the situation to rental car company Hertz (NASDAQ: HTZ).

After the initial fallout, Hertz stock soared after announcing bankruptcy in 2020. As a result, HTZ stock gained over 900% as retail traders bid the price up.

Doesn’t bankruptcy mean the company is going out of business? Why would someone want to own a bankrupt company?

For one thing, Chapter 11 bankruptcy doesn’t mean the company is going out of business. To illustrate, in Hertz’s case, the company sold over 200,000 vehicles. Not only that, but investors bet on the company’s turnaround.

An investment group gave Hertz $5.9B while the company managed debt. As a result, Hertz is back in business, with demand for rentals heating up.

At the same time, it may be a different situation with Revlon than Hertz.

How Did This Happen

Revlon has been losing market share for years. Newcomers enter the industry with attractive marketing campaigns, drawing in the younger crowd.

For example, a longtime rival, Coty Inc (NYSE: COTY), teamed up with Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. Coty has a 20% stake in Kim’s beauty business and an over 50% in Kylie’s. With this in mind, the deals are part of Coty’s transition to an online, DTC business model.

Meanwhile, Revlon has failed to keep up in the digital age. That said, the company was started 90 years ago and has built strong ties with leading retailers.

But, as shoppers move online, especially younger crowds, Revlon has been slower to catch trends. Coty’s partnerships expand their reach online, particularly on social media. Celebrity influencers push products to their millions of followers.

Then, the pandemic hit. Revlon saw sales crater as a result. For one thing, with lockdowns in place, people wore less makeup. And on top of this, if they did buy makeup, it was online.

So, Revlon lost even more market share. And then higher raw material costs, shortages, and rising labor put the company over the edge. Below is a look at Revlon’s debt by year since 2012.

Revlon started missing payments as a result, and vendors had enough. The past due accounts piled up, and the company couldn’t keep up. So, Revlon filed for voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 16, 2022.

What’s Next for Revlon

As shown, chapter 11 doesn’t mean Revlon is going out of business. In fact, it will give the company a chance to restructure its debt, like Hertz. Here’s what we know so far.

  • Revlon expects to receive $575M in financing to support day-to-day operations.
  • The pre-trial hearings are ongoing, with another one today.
  • Revlon will have the chance to work with creditors to write off some debt.
  • Another option is the company gets bought out.

We could also see a potential sale of Revlon’s assets. Revlon’s CEO says demand remains solid, and “people love our brands” while adding the company’s strong market position.

But she added that the company’s debt situation has made it challenging to do business. In particular, rising costs and shortages.

Revlon will continue doing business for now while working with those they owe money to. If they come to a resolution, the company may reduce its debt to better position itself in the long term.

At the same time, investors holding REV stock may not get anything.

Is It Worth Buying REV Stock

The first thing to know about buying REV stock right now is that you can lose everything. If Revlon fails to turn a profit, it will continue losing money.

The bankruptcy filing will give the company a second chance to restructure its debt. But Revlon will still be operating with the challenging conditions from before.

Though raw material costs have dropped slightly in the past month, they are still well above pre-pandemic levels. Revlon will need to make significant changes behind the scenes to overcome the difficulties.

Can REV stock become the next GameStop (NYSE: GME) or Hertz? That’s what traders on social media are hoping for. But, with competition gaining market share, the situation seems different.

At the same time, Revlon is a massive brand in makeup. For instance, Revlon is the #3 global cosmetics brand. Not only that, but they are also the #1 for mass fragrance and nail brand for professionals.

Yet these facts don’t mean Revlon stock is worth buying. The company still faces rising costs. Furthermore, Revlon has a long list of creditors they will pay before investors. For this reason, it may be best to stay on the sidelines for this one.

The post Why REV Stock is Trending After Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy appeared first on Investment U.

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